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ALBANY, N. Y. : 


■s^ &^ ^f 

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1875, j / '-r 

By J. H. Temple and George Sheldon, ^^ 

In the oriice of the Librarian of Congress. //' 7/ / JL~ 





In offering the annals of the ancient town of Northfield to her 
citizens, and to that class of the public who take an interest in the 
preservation of the local memorials of New England, it is necessary 
to state the sources whence the materials here embodied have been 

The field of these researches is to a great extent new ground. 
No full and connected account has been published of the events 
which transpired in this part of the Connecticut valley during King 
Philip's war, nor of the subsequent struggles with the savages up to 
the close of the war of 1722-26. The histories of the two succeed- 
ing French and Indian wars are more full, but are defective in dates, 
and in details of local skirmishes. 

Almost nothing has been known of the antecedent Indian occupa- 
tion, or of the first attempts made by the whites to gain a foothold 

The writers of this volume have thus from necessity had to depend 
mainly on manuscript documents. The sources of information have 
been : I. The Town and Church Records. The Book of Records 
kept by the two committees, 1685-90, and 1713-23, is in a good 
state of preservation. The first volume of Town Records, 1723- 
1766, is lost. The Church Records, 1718-49, are lost ; and all the 
historical portions of the book kept by Rev. Messrs. Hubbard, Allen 
and Mason have been purposely cut out and destroyed. The book 
of births, marriages and deaths, and the later volumes of Town 
Records are extant. 2. The County Records, embracing the County 
Recorder's Book at Hatfield, and the Court and Probate Records, 
and the Registry of Deeds of the old county of Hampshire, now 
preserved at Springfield and Northampton. 3. The State Archives. 
The materials for an account of the Indian occupation ; of the set- 
tlement of 1673-5 ; of the details of military and other expeditions, 

iv Preface. 

and of" colonial plans and politics, have been gathered from the 
voluminous Letters of the Pynchons, the Stoddards, Partridge, the 
Willards, Hinsdale, Dwight, Kellogg, Seth Field, and others ; from 
reports of committees ; from petitions, muster-rolls, and the General 
Court Records, severally preserved in the office of the Secretary of 
the Commonwealth. 4. The Williams Papers, in the library of the 
Massachusetts Historical Society were kindly offered for examination, 
and have supplied documents not elsewhere found. 5. Family Papers. 
Although most of the valuable collectionsof old family papers have 
been sold to the rag-collectors, or have perished by fire and waste, 
yet the files still preserved by Capt. Henry Alexander, by the 
descendants of Lieut. Eliezur Wright, of Capt.'Calvin Stearns, and 
Capt. Samuel Merriman ; and the account-books of Ebenezer Field, 
Moses Field, and Jona. Belding, have been of essential service. 
The collection of town papers left by Capt. Richard Colton ; and 
the abundant stores of information relating to the topography of the 
north part of the original Northfield territory, collected by A. H. 
Washburn, Esq., of Vernon, Vt., have contributed to the complete- 
ness of our narrative. 6. Doolittle's Narrative. This rare tract has 
been the basis of the account of events detailed in chapter vni. [See 
Appendix.~\ 7. The memories of aged persons, natives of Northfield, 
have been freely drawn upon. Francis Lyman, Dea. Phinehas Field, 
Timothy Field, Mrs. Polly (Dickinson) Holton, Mrs. Lydia (Doo- 
little) Everett, Mark Woodard, Lewis Taylor, of Hinsdale, N. H., 
and John Stebbins, of Vernon, Vt., have furnished facts and incidents 
to explain and illustrate the records, and have given pictures of social 
life and character, possible to be , duplicated from no other source. 
8. Tradition. All matters of unsupported \ tradition have been so 
designated in the text. But oral narrative has a special province, and 
is important to the historian in confirming and elucidating recorded 
facts, and suggesting solutions of contradictory reports, and pointing 
out lines of investigation. Many stories^ handed down from the 
fathers are evident exaggerations, with but a grain of truth ; some 
reminiscences of real life have received recent additions, to suit the 
views of interested parties ; while many legends of personal exploit, 
and privation, and odd experience, treasured as " heir-looms," are 
controverted by authentic records, and are omitted. 

The new material, found in papers not before accessible to the 
public, has intrinsic value ; and it throws a new light on many trans- 
actions, already known. Parts of things, hitherto wanting, have been 

Preface. v 

supplied. And numerous errors of fact and date, which in various 
ways had crept into accepted history, have been discovered and 

The territory between Turner's Falls and Brattleboro has been 
personally explored, for the purpose of fixing upon the authenticated 
and the doubtful points of historic interest. To locate an action or 
event, is often to get the clew to its real and full meaning ; is to 
discover reasons and results ; is to find explanations which the facts 
themselves fail to furnish. Indian village sites have been examined, 
and careful study bestowed on all " remains," which could illustrate 
the ethnology of the resident tribes. 

The historical data collected cover the whole of the old Squakheag 
country, embracing the early settlements of what is now Vernon, Vt., 
Hinsdale and Winchester, N. H., as well as Northfield. And while 
the greatest labor has been expended on the early memorials of the 
township, its first struggles, and failures, and successes ; and exhaust- 
ive research has been directed to the wars with the Indians and their 
allies the French ; nothing of a later date has been omitted, which 
has real value in elucidating the civil, ecclesiastical, educational, and 
industrial interests of the town. The war records of the American 
Revolution will be found to be substantially complete. The names 
of the men called out in 1814, are given ; and a full list is inserted, 
of the enlisted and drafted men sent from Northfield to put down 
the rebellion of 1861-5. 

Official documents and family papers are usually printed in full. 
Journals, and letters, and muster-rolls, and military orders, often 
have more than a local value. They help to solve some personal or 
political mystery, and supply missing links in chains of evidence, the 
importance of which the discoverer only half comprehends. Abridg- 
ment is too often mutilation. 

This work is not intended to be an exhaustive account of cotem- 
poraneous events in New England, nor in Massachusetts, nor yet in 
the old county of Hampshire. Its exact scope is indicated by its 
title. Mr. Sylvester Judd has published a full, and (with singularly 
few exceptions) reliable history of old Hadley, covering the territory 
originally held by the Norwottocks ; and Mr. George Sheldon is 
collecting materials for a history of the Pacomptocks and the Deer- 
field settlement. 

As a frontier town till some years after the close of Father Ralle's 
war, Northfield was a strategic point of great importance ; and though 

vi Preface. 

covered, after 1724, by Fort Dummer, was, till the peace of 1763, 
the scene of surprises, and bloody conflicts. Around it centered a 
series of events whose bearing and consequences have not been well 

It is the hope of the authors that these pages furnish sufficient 
facts to enable the careful student to understand how civilized life 
here came in contact with and finally displaced savage life •, how and 
why, after two unsuccessful attempts, the whites held permanent 
possession of the place ; and then pushed on up the Connecticut 
valley. For Northfield was the entrance gate to the settlements as 
high up as Charlestown, N. H. If heroes and heroines now and 
then appear on the stage, it is because the times and circumstances, 
and their own characters, made them such. 

In the preparation of the Family Genealogies, besides the sources 
already named, family bibles, family registers, and inscriptions on 
grave-stones have been copied. And where irreconcilable contra- 
dictions occur in the records, a solution has been sought by reference 
to the specifications on enlistment rolls, guardianship papers, wills, 
deeds, and authentic collateral facts. The result of exhaustive 
research has often led to conclusions at variance with family tradition, 
and with published genealogies. But no dates and lines of descent 
have been adopted, without what appeared to be reliable evidence of 

To the custodians of the records in the public offices of what 
was the old county of Hampshire ; to the clerics of the several towns 
where researches were made ; to the many kind friends in Northfield, 
and the descendants of her scattered families ; as well as to their 
fellow-toilers in the field of historical investigation, who have aided 
and encouraged them in this undertaking ; especially to Miss Mary 
T. Stratton, whose assistance in copying papers and gathering inform- 
ation has been indefatigable — the authors hereby tender grateful 



Page 8, 13th line from bottom, for saw, read grist ; same line, afta by, insert Aaron 
Morgan ; and add, Lyman Gilbert, Sen., built the taw-mill now Handing. In the line below, 
erase half a mile, and insert two miles. 

Page 10, 4th and 5th lines from bottom, erase i,th of July, and insert last of August. 

P3ge 22, 3d line from bottom, after by, insert Capt. Elisha Hunt, whose heirs sold to. 

Page 1 2 6, middle of" page, for July 14, read July 15. 

Page 179, 7th line, after by, insert the son of. 

Page 234, 4th line, for Daniel read David. 

Page 241, 17th line from bottom, for Thomas read Robert. 

Page 283, 5th line from bottom, erase '55, and insert '68. 

Page 319, 3d column, 6th line, for Eleawr read Ebenexer. 

Page 358, loth line, for Ebenr. read Eber. 

The names of the minute men, given on pp. 323-4, were copied from the original roll, 
found among the Wright Papers, an attested copy of which, sworn to by Capt. Wright, is 
in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. 


Abbreviatitnt.—h. for born ; bro. for brother ; d. for died ; k. for killed ; m. for mar- 
ried ; and ocher well known contractions are used. As also Cone, for Concord ; Dfd. for 
Deerrield ; Enfd. for Enrield ; Fram. for Framingham ; Had. for Hadley; Hfd. for 
Hatrield; Nfd. for Northrield ; Mhn. for Northampton j Spg. for Springfield ; Sud. for 
Sudbury ; SurT. for Suifield ; Wfd. for Westfield ; Wind. .for Windsor ; Wore, for Worcester. 

Old and New Style. — All dates, prior to 175a, are understood to be in conformity with 
old style, chen in use. 

Double Dating. — The custom which prevailed in former times, of double-dating events 
which transpired between January 1, and March 25, has been retained in some instance*; 
but usually the true date is given ; 1. e., the year is considered as beginning January 1. 



Boundaries — Natural Features of the Territory — Names and Descrip- 
tion of Mountains, Brooks, Meadows, Plains, and other Objects of 
Special Interest. 

N the absence of a map of the town, a brief account of 
the topography of Northfield is inserted in this place, to 
save the frequent use of foot-notes and explanations. 
This outline covers the original township, as granted by 
the General court in 1672, and the additional grant of 1685. The 
design is to give the name and relative position of all the more pro- 
minent natural features of the territory, so that the points and bounds 
mentioned in Indian deeds and early records, and in the first English 
allotments and subsequent transfers, may be readily understood. In 
some cases, localities that have a special historic interest are described 
in full — anticipating in part the course of the narrative. The Indian 
names, when known, and the names first affixed to a place, or object, 
bv the whites, are scrupulously preserved, and are commonly adopted 
as the proper designation. Modern changes are indicated, in order 
that younger as well as older readers may have no difficulty in under- 
standing the references in the body of the work. 

The Indian name of the territory comprised in the original grants 
to the Northfield settlers was, according to Gookin, Suckquakege; ac- 
cording to Elder William Janes, fVissquawquegue. The two modes 
of spelling evidently represent the same word, either as pronounced 
by two different chiefs, or as the two hearers estimated the pecu- 
liar power of letters to represent vocal sounds. 


2 History of Northfield. 

Of course the only way by which the whites go* the Indian name- 
words, was by the ear. And the formation of their syllabic sounds 
in the larynx, with the lips but slightly open, rendered the talk 
of the red men specially obscure. And this obscurity was in- 
creased by the fact that our people were ignorant of the etymology, 
and to a great extent of the meaning of native terms. The result 
was, great diversity and some confusion in writing Indian geographical 
names. No two writers of that early time spell these words alike: 
and it is sometimes almost impossible, in the varieties of orthography, 
to recognize the identity of a name. 

The name of our town is spelled in deeds and official documents, 
no less than nine different ways. Had the scribes of that day com- 
prehended the historic importance of these aboriginal words, they 
would have been at more pains to get the exact native enunciation, 
and would have adopted some uniform method of spelling the Eng- 
lish substitute. 

The term Suckquakege, however, was not applied by the natives 
to the country at large, but to the fishing-places near Cooper's Point, 
and so to the village or clusters of wigwams in that immediate neigh- 
borhood. Their lower village, situated at the southerly end of the 
present Northfield street, was known as Squenatock, or £htanatock, 
so called from the falls on Miller's brook, around which they lived. 

The English name Northfield was chosen only because the planta- 
tion was then the northernmost settlement on the Connecticut river. 

The territory purchased of the Indians was about eight miles in 
extent north and south, by twelve miles in width, six miles on each side 
of the river. But this purchase was not coincident with the present 
town bounds. No deed from the Indian owners of lands south of 
Squenatock has been discovered ; and it is believed that no warranted 
rights were acquired in the tract south of this point by the whites. 

The town, as granted by the General court in 1672, was eight 
miles long by four and a half miles wide, extending three-fourths of 
a mile from the river west, and three and three-fourths miles east. 
The north and south bounds ran E. 7 30' N. ; the east and west 
bounds ran N. i° 30' W. The outlines, however, were not regular. 
At the lower end, the bound on the west side of the river was a line 
running westerly from the mouth of Bennett's brook ; on the east 
side of the river the bound was a line running easterly from " the 
lower end of the Three Little Meadows," and so over the highest 
point of Beers's mountain. On the north, the bound west of 
the river was Broad brook; east of the river it was Ash-swamp 

Introduction. 3 

brook. Thus the west side territory extended about a mile further 
north than that on the east side. These lines remained unaltered 
during the First Settlement. During the Second Settlement, i. e., 
in 1685, on petition of the Committee, the General court added a 
large tract of land to the south end on the east side of the river, car- 
rying the line down to the mouth of Four-mile brook. And subse- 
quently a small addition was made to the south end on the west 
side of the river, carrying the line down to the north bound of old 
Deerfield ; so that the area of the town, after these additions, was 
31,296 acres. 

At the date of these grants, the province of Massachusetts was 
supposed or claimed to extend at least forty miles higher up the 
river than at present ; and actual jurisdiction was exercised as far as 
the north line of Charlestown, N. H. When the new province 
line, corresponding to the present state line, was established, by order 
of the king in council, in 1740, Northfield lost ibout four and one- 
half miles in width of the northerly part of her chartered territory — 
embracing considerable parts of the present towns of Winchester and 
Hinsdale in New Hampshire, and Vernon in Vermont. 

In more modern times, a tract of 500 acres, known as the Pem- 
broke grant, lying below the mouth of Four-mile brook, has been 
annexed to the town ; and a portion of the west side addition has 
been set off to Gill. The present area of the town, including the 
river, is about 19,750 acres. 

The town of Northfield is bounded on the east by Warwick, on 
the south by Erving, on the south-west by Gill, on the west by Ber- 
nardston, on the north by the state line which separates it from 
Vernon, Hinsdale and Winchester. 

Streams. — The Connecticut River is the prominent natural feature 
of the town, and constitutes the base line of all topographical descrip- 
tion. The Indian name was Quinneh-tuk, the long river with waves, 
quinneh, long, tuk, water having tidal or wind-raised waves. Our 
name ^uinneh-tuk-ut, or Connecticut, is the word the natives applied 
to the land bordering on the stream, and not to the stream itself. In 
the earliest local records it is commonly called the river, and the 
Great river. Its course here is mainly due south, except at the 
Great bend, where it nearly doubles upon itself. The average width 
between bank and bank is forty rods. The fall is slight, and the 
current sluggish, as is uniformly the case where the alluvial deposits 
form broad meadows. From the foot of Clary's island, there is a 

4 History of Northfield. 

stretch of swift water, extending above Brattleboro*. In this distance 
of about seven miles the fall is thirteen feet. But as a whole, when 
viewed from the high banks or from the more distant mountains, the 
impression is that of repose and richness rather than of power, giv- 
ing assurance of abundant crops, rather than threatening possible 

This river rises in the highlands on the northern border of New 
Hampshire, in latitude 45 15', and following a southerly course, 
separates the states of New Hampshire and Vermont, crosses Massa- 
chusetts in its western part, crosses Connecticut in its central part, 
and enters Long Island sound in latitude 41 ° 16'. The tide flows 
up to the foot of Enfield falls, a distance of 63 miles. The entire 
length, including windings, is near 400 miles. 

Its course in our town is about 8i miles. From the state line to 
the north line of Gill, it divides the town into two unequal parts ; 
thence south it forms the easterly bound of Gill, the whole bed of 
the stream adjacent belonging to Northfield. 

Jthuelot River. This is the next considerable stream in old North- 
field. Its general course here is west by south. The name was 
originally written Nashue lot. The Indian word nashue, signifies, in 
the midst, and was applied by them to a point or angular piece of 
land lying between two branches of a stream or other water ; ut 
means at. The application of the term here is plain. The natives 
called the triangular peninsula formed by the bend of the Connecti- 
cut, and touched on the east by the smaller stream, nashue-ut ; .and 
the settlers, without inquiring into the special meaning of the word, 
made it the name of the smaller stream. By omitting the initial n, 
and with the introduction of / before the termination, it makes a most 
musical appellation. The regret is that our fathers did not retain 
more of those apt and significant Indian names. 

There are rapids on this stream at the present village of Hinsdale; 
but they were not improved while the territory was included in North- 

The other streams entering the Connecticut from the east are : 

Asb-nvamp Brook, which was the original northern bound of the 
plantation ; and on which were built in later times, Hinsdell's fort, 
and Hinsdell's mill. 

Sbattuck's Brook is a half-mile south of the old Northfield line. 
Daniel Shattuck built a fort on this stream previous to 1740. 

Merry' s-meadow Brook is a little north of the site, of the old Hinsdale 
meeting-house, at the lover end of Merry's meadow. It marks the 





Introduction. 5 

south line of the 500 acres granted in '1732 to Governor Jonathan 

Cold Brook runs into the Ashuelot a little above its mouth. It 
rises from a spring in the meadow hill, but is permanent. Thomas 
Taylor built a house in the meadow, a few rods north of this brook, 
immediately after the close of the French and Indian war of 1744- 


Triangle Brook rises in Winchester, flows westerly into Doolittle's 
meadow. It enters the old channel of the Connecticut, which it fol- 
lows to the lower end of the meadow. 

The brooks above named are north of the present state line, and 
consequently not now within the town limits. 

Pauchaug Brook rises to the east of Staddle hill in Winchester. Its 
general course is south-westerly, and it empties into the Connecticut 
at the southerly end of Pauchaug meadow. It has several mill-sites. 
Aaron Burt built a grist-mill on the lower falls, as early as 1765. 
Thomas Page owned it afterwards, and built a saw-mill just above, 
when he leased the grist-mill to his son Lewis. It was afterwards 
owned by. David Twitchell. 1 " David Twitchell's upper mill pond, 
near Winchester line," is named in the records. 

Stephen Belding built a saw-mill still higher up the brook, near 
his house in Winchester. This was afterwards owned by William 
Stebbins. Above are Brown's saw-mill, John Brown's wagon-shop, 
Putnam's saw-mill, and Combs's saw-mill. 

Cranberry Brook, mentioned in early deeds, runs on the easterly side 
of Log plain, and empties into Pauchaug brook. 

Second Brook rises northerly of Notch mountain, and after a 
westerly course unites with Pauchaug brook near its mouth. On 
a little branch of this stream, Captain Seth Lyman put in a dam, 
about 1790, not far from his dwelling house, where he set up a water- 
power spinning wheel. One of his daughters-in-law became so adept 
in its use that she could spin two threads at once, one with each hand. 

Mill Brook. — This marked the north end of the town plot, as it 
was called, during the First and Second Settlements. The gorge 
through which it descends themeadow hill is one of the most romantic 
spots in town. The right branch of this stream rises west of Mount 

"In a deed, dated November 7, 1792, Benoni Dickinson transfers to Ezekicl Webster, 6 
acres and 1 52 rods of land lying " a little below a grist mill formerly known as Hart's mill, 
on Pauchauge brook, below the lower falls in s<l brook, with a mill and dam and stream 
and privilege of flowing, as has been heretofore." 

6 History of Nortbfield. 

Grace in Warwick, with 'a feeder coming down between Round 
mountain and Little-hemlock mountain; the left branch drains the 
Great-swamp lots. A grist-mill was erected on the falls of this 
brook in 1685, at which date it received its name, it being the common 
custom to call that Mill brook, on which the Jirst mill in town was 

The name given to this stream in the Indian deeds, was Cowas and 
Coassock. The Indian word kowa means, a pine, plural, hash ; ohke 
or ock signifies, place ; koash-ock would then mean, the pine-trees' place. 
Probably the natives applied the term to the ravine where the mill- 
sites are, which then had a large growth of pines and hemlocks. This 
point was the dividing line between the lands of Massemet on the 
south, and Nawelet on the north. 

John Clary Jr. built a grist-mill on the privilege next the street, 
in 1685. The dam was just above the one now standing. In 17 16, 
this privilege was purchased by Stephen Belding, who rebuilt the 
grist-mill, which was held by himself and sons till 1779, when it 
was sold to Aaron Whitney, and subsequently came into possession 
of John Barrett, Esq. It was bought by Ezekiel Webster, who put 
in a forge, with trip-hammer, etc. In 1717, Jonathan Belding, a 
brother of Stephen, built a saw-mill below, of which Stephen was 
one-half owner. April 10, 1728, Stephen Belding sells to his brother 
Jonathan " one-half of a saw-mill now standing on the Mill brook a 
little below the grist-mill on the falls of said brook and all that per- 
tains thereto, as also the whole privilege of the stream at that place, 
so that it be not prejudicial to the grist-mill above : it being under- 
stood that this sale includes only that side of the brook on which the 
saw-mill now stands." This mill was operated by Jonathan Belding, 
senior, and junior, during their lives — as Mr. Francis Lyman states 
it, u as long as the old man was able to hoist the gate." Sept. 9, 
1812, he sold the site and privilege to Ezekiel Webster, for $200.. 

A grist-mill was put in below the saw-mill, about 1782, by Aaron 
Whitney. This was rebuilt by John Barrett, Esq., who sold it 
August 9, 1 802, for $500, to Ezekiel Webster. 

As early as 1775, Stephen Belding set up a clothier's shop, with 
carding and fulling machinery, between the grist and saw-mills, 
which was sold with the other privileges to Aaron Whitney, and 
eventually became the property of Simeon Boyden. In 1804 Boyden 
sold out to Josiah Fisher, and removed to Orange, where he built, 
that year, the first carding-mill. Fisher sold, June 15, 18 14, to 
Capt. James White. 

Introduction. J 

Up stream, Gurdon Strobridge had grist and saw mills — now 
owned by George Bacon ; and still above was a pail factory, after- 
wards a saw-mill, owned by Murdock and Johnson, now John Barrett. 
A half mile above, Hezekiah Mattoon built a saw-mill — now a 
batting manufactory. 

Miller's Brook — south of the original town plot — has two prin- 
cipal heads, one between Stratton mountain and the Bald hills, the 
other in the gulf east of Brush mountain. It drains the Dry swamp, 
and enters the Connecticut towards the lower en'd of Great meadow. 
The name Miller's brook, as applied to this stream, is found in the 
records as early as 1686, showing the falsity of the tradition that it 
was called after Benjamin Miller, who built a house on its banks in 
1732. It may have been named for William Miller, who was a 
prominent inhabitant in the First and Seoond Settlements. In the 
Indian deed this brook is called Squenatock and Quanatock ; and it was 
the south boundary of the land sold to the whites by Massemet. The 
term Squenatock appears to mean, the pouring-out place, and was 
applied by the natives to the falls, where the water pours over and 
down the rocks. Remove the dam, and the Indian word can be seen, 
just as the red man saw it centuries ago. 

The privilege at the falls on this brook, south of the town street, 
was granted May 18, 1685, "to W m Clarke Jun., John Woodward, 
Richard Lyman and any other that shall join them, with liberty to 
build a saw-mill j and we have granted them the stream to improve 
their mill, and so much land as they need to pond on, and to improve 
their mill, and 20 acres of land near the mill for pasturing or any other 
use what they see meet and liberty of the Commons for timber what 
they need : this 20 acres is granted to them and their heirs forever, 
to be taken up where the partners shall judge most convenient." The 
saw-mill appears to have been built the next year. 

In the Third Settlement, mills were erected here by Ensign Zech- 
ariah Field about 1730, and held by his heirs for many years. But 
the place is better known as the Deacon Janes's grist-mill. All the 
early mills stood on the north bank. A wagon-shop now stands on 
the south bank. 

Before 1800, a mill for expressing castor and linseed oils was built 
on this stream, by Zechariah Field (son of Paul), just east of the 
home-lots. A little way below, a trip-hammer and scythe factory 
was afterwards put in by Richard Watriss. A little way above, in 
1 8 15, Jabez Parsons and Jabez Whiting built in partnership, a bark- 
mill, which was afterwards occupied by A. C. Parsons. Farther up, 
at the foot of the mountain, Alonzo Stratton had a saw-mill. 

8 History of Nortbfield. 

Saw-mill Brook rises on the west side of Brush mountain, and 
comes down by u the roaring falls'* (for which the Indian' name 
would be nauyaug), north of Beers's mountain, and after coursing 
the east and north sides of Beers's plain, unites with Miller's brook 
below the site of Janes's mill. 

A saw-mill was built, a little way up this stream, by Elias Bascom ; 
who added a clothing-mill ; afterwards operated by Josiah Fisher and 
Theodore Holton ; it is now a grist and saw-mill, owned by Samuel 
Slate. x 

Merriman's Brook rises from the spring southwesterly of Beers's 
hill, near which Capt. Samuel Merriman first built, and enters the 
Connecticut near the Gill ferry. Though short it is permanent, and 
has sufficient volume to supply power for a sash and blind manufactory. 

Pine-meadow Brook rises on the western declivity of South moun- 
tain, and entering the meadow through Crooked hollow, courses along 
near the hill to the lower end, where it flows into the Connecticut. 

Four-mile Brook rises to the west of Old Crag. It is often referred 
to in the early records as the Little-stony brook. Its general course 
is south-west. The south bound of the town, as established by 
Dwight's survey in 1720, was "a line running E. 7 30' N. from 
the mouth of Four-mile brook," which would leave the main body of 
the stream mostly within Northfield bounds. 

" Oct. 1 g, 1 742, the town granted to Jona. Janes, Eleazer Patterson, 
Charles Dooiittle and Paul Field the falls on Four-mile brook for 
building a saw-mill, with a log yard and pond place not infringing on 
any prior grant, and during their maintaining a good saw-mill on said 
falls — provided they build the mill within twelve months from this 
date, otherwise it reverts to the town again." In 1820 Elihu Stratton 
built a grist-mill on this privilege. It is now owned by Aaron Morgan. 
Rufus Stratton put in a saw-mill two miles further up the stream. 

Pembroke-grant Brook enters the Connecticut about half a mile 
below the mouth of Four-mile brook, and near the present south line 
of the town. 

The brooks on the west side of the Connecticut are : 

Broad Brook, the original north boundary of the Indian territory, 
and of the township as laid out by William Clarke in 1672. ' The 
Indian name of this stream was IVanasquatok, which signifies, the end, 
Dr the extremity — indicating that the chieftain Nawelet claimed no 
and further north. 

1 Baacom't mill and clothier'* ihop, on tnia lite, were built aa early aa 1770. 

Introduction. 9 

Jock 1 : Brook empties into the Connecticut one-fourth of a mile 
above Wright's island, now known as Elmer's island. 

Cold Brook — sometimes called Upper-salmon brook — rises in a 
spring at the foot of the mountain, and is only one-third of a mile 
long ; is remarkable for the coolness and purity of its water, which 
seldom or never freezes. Its mouth is at the head of Elmer's island. 

Salmon Brook enters the river at the foot of Elmer's island. It 
received its name from the abundance of salmon caught here ; and is 
mentioned in the earliest local records extant. Samuel Hunt had 
built a saw-mill " on first Salmon brook" before 1768. 

Island-meadow Brook, or Hand brook, as it is sometimes called in 
early deeds, empties at the head of Clary's island. 

Little-meadow Brook, now known as Belding's brook, crosses the 
state line near the South Vernon rail-road station, and empties at the 
lower end of Little meadow. x 

Moose-plain Brook rises back of Second-moose plain, and empties 
near the old Prindle ferry. 

Mallory's Brook is at the south end of the Moose-plain lots. 

Bennett's Brook, called by the Indians Natanis, rises in the north- 
west part of the town, runs in a southerly course, and reaches the 
Connecticut at the lower end of Bennett's meadow. 

Feb. 23, 1720, the committee granted " the stream upon Bennett's 
brook to Serg 1 Benoni Moore, Joseph Petty, Ebenezer Field and 
Nathaniel Mattoon, for a saw-mill, with the lands that may be neces- 
sary for ponding and to lay logs by the same — in case they build it 
by May come twelvemonth and improve the mill from that time for- 
ward for their own and the Town's benefit and service." The privi- 
lege is how known as Sawyer's mills, comprising both saw and 

Several affluents of Miller's river rise in the east part of Northfield, 
flowing to the south. Among them are : 

Jack's Brook, which rises on the east slope of Old Crag, and 

Keeup's Brook, which rises in Great swamp. These unite not far 
from the Erving line. There is sufficient fall and power for two mill 
privileges, on one of which a mill was built by Zechariah Field, and 
sold in 1834 to Calvin Priest. Tradition names these brooks from 
two Indians who lived near them, just south of the Northfield line. 

Mountains.— The range of Highlands which extends through the 
length of the town east of the Connecticut river, has various promin- 
ences,, each with some peculiarity of conformation. These bear 


I o History of Northfield. 

different names ; some of which are characteristic, some historical, 
and some fanciful. As seen from the village there appears to be a 
nearly continuous range, with irregular depressions, cut down some- 
times to near the base, through which the streams descend to the 
plain. A view from the hills on the west side of the river shows 
the outlines with more distinctness, and gives to the different peaks 
and intervening depressions more character ; and from this distance 
the whole range has a broken and detached appearance. A bird's 
eye view reveals parallel ridges, in echelon order, or trending off at a 
more or less acute angle, with corresponding and intersecting valleys, 
and broad plats where flourishing farms once nestled. A view 
from any point, near or remote, unfolds a landscape of rich variety 
and magnificence and broadness, seldom seen in such direct connec- 
tion with extensive cultivated plains and meadows, and skirted by a 
quiet but busy village. The river, and the main street qf the town, 
and the back-ground of hills, all having common lines, give a sense 
of uniformity and fitness ; and the striking contrasts of nature and 
art: the rounded or jagged outlines, and long vistas, and blending of 
lights and shades, give finish to the picture. 

Beginning at Miller's river, the high eminence bounding that stream 
is known as Poplar mountain. This is wholly in Erving. Directly 
north, and over the Northfield line, is South mountain. Then Beers': 
mountain still further north, with Beers': hill at its southwest foot. 
These were named for Capt. Richard Beers, who was killed by. the 
Indians here in 1675, and buried in a south-westerly spur of the hill. 

East of Beers's mountain, and nearly in a line with it, is a bold 
promontory, which appears as the starting point of a parallel range, 
and bears the characteristic designation of Old Crag. Between Beers's 
and Crag is an odd shaped prominence called Roman 7*, from its re- 
semblance in outline to the letter T in Roman character. East of 
Crag are the first Bald bills. North of Crag is Brush mountain. 
This is famous for its natural Ice-house, and Rattle-snake den, both 
of which are on the eastern declivity. Passing up the Gulf road, 
one comes to Cold spring, about twenty rods from which is a fissure 
in the rocks, perhaps 10 feet deep by 4 feet wide, extending into 
the mountain indefinitely, where snow and ice collect in winter, 
and are usually found in considerable quantities as late as the fourth 
of July. A little to the south, and higher up the mountain, is the 
den. This is a small opening to an internal cave where the reptiles 
resorted in great multitudes for their winter sleep. There is always 
a perceptible current of air at the mouth, warm in winter and cold in 

Introduction, 1 1 

summer, and sufficiently strong to carry off a small dry leaf. For 
quite a space around, the snow melts as it falls, leaving the ground 
bare. Both rattle snakes and coons have been found in considerable 
numbers among these rocks, in more modern times. 

A water-spout burst on this mountain, just below the Ice-house, 
June 7, 1866. The day was clear and exceedingly sultry. After 
noon a small cloud, heavily charged with electricity, came across the 
river from the west. There was a smart shower as it passed over 
Northfield street. Just as it reached the mountains, it met another 
similar cloud coming from the north-west. Up to the time of contact, 
the wind was not unusually strong ; nor was any thing remarkable 
noticed by observers. But at that moment the cloud seemed to drop 
into the gulf, and the whole upper valley became a scene of wildest 
commotion. It was " black as night ;" and the rush and roar and 
thunder were terrific. Shortly after, and as the first intimation of 
what had happened, a torrent of water swept down the gulf, filling 
the lower valley, and clearing its track of every obstruction, till it 
reached the Connecticut. The side of the mountain where it struck 
was left a bare rock. Trees and small stones were floated away. 
Rocks weighing many tons were overturned and moved down the 
slope. Such was the force of the rushing mass, that on reaching the 
arable land at the foot of the mountain, on the farm of Asa A. Holton, 
Esq., it took up the entire soil down to the hard pan for many rods 
in width. A boulder eight feet in diameter, was washed out and car- 
ried about four rods from its original bed. The destruction of farm 
lands and crops was immense. After remaining stationary a short 
t time, the storm-cloud moved slowly up and over the mountain, and 
spent itself on the eastern declivity. Though less than where it first 
broke, the amount of water discharged here was enough to do great 
damage to cultivated fields, and to the mills on Keeup's brook, and 
at its junction with Miller's river at Erving Centre. 

East of Brush mountain and equal in height are the upper Bald 
hills. To the north, and in range with the hills, is Stratton mountain, 
with its once fruitful farm covering the summit. Near by is Shuttle 
bill. North of Brush mountain, though entirely separated from it by 
the bed of Miller's brook, is Round mountain, with characteristic and 
graceful outlines. Standing directly east from the centre of the vil- 
lage, it is an object of special interest ; and Round Knob, at its western 
foot makes a pleasant relief. Then come Little Hemlock, and across 
Mill brook, Notch mountain, which with its abrupt front and notched 
contour, forms an object of striking grandeur. Great Hemlock is a 

I 2 History of Northfield. 

little out of range to the eastward, with an evident geological relation 
to Mount Grace in Warwick. 

Pine Mountain is north of Notch, with Second brook between. 
Strobridge Hill is west of Notch, and Whortleberry Hill south-west. 
The latter is named in early deeds and records ; but after 1756 it is 
called Hubbard's Hill, from the second pastor of the church, who 
owned a large pasture here. Louisana is the name applied to the 
broken ridge near Second brook. Bunker Hill is near Hemlock 
mountain, in the Third Division of Commons. 

Staddle Hill (now in Winchester) is north of Pauchaug brook, and 
east of the plain. It was a well known and much coveted tract, in 
the Third Settlement, being then covered with a young and thrifty 
growth of wood. Chestnut Hill is still further to the north and above 
the Ashuelot. 

Near the present village of Hinsdale, and below the Ashuelot, are 
two prominences, commemorating two early settlers, whose descend- 
ants still hold the territory. The northernmost and highest is Taylor's 
Mountain. It was included in the 500 acres purchased by Thomas 
Taylor, for a Spanish pistareen per acre. The other is Stebbins's Hill, 
a little to the south. 

Meadow Hill was the common name applied to the bluff or ridge 
which bounded the river meadows. This varied greatly in height as 
well as in general character. In some parts the ascent is abrupt, and 
from 100 to 200 feet. Such points have commonly some distinctive 
appellation. The best known and most striking of these is the one 
called Old Fort Hill, now in Hinsdale. It stands directly back of 
Cooper's Point, a half-mile above the mouth of the Ashuelot. The 
high plain here trends to the west, and turns the course of the Con- 
necticut so that it makes an ox-bow bend. The hill is about 100 
feet higher than the meadow, and perhaps 150 feet above the ordi- 
nary water level. The sides are steep, and the top was the site of 
the main fort or stronghold of the Squakheags, before the Mohawk 
incursion of 1663-4. Further description of the hill and fort belongs 
more properly to the narrative in a subsequent chapter. 

To the north, and particularly near Merry's-meadow brook, the 
hill is still higher, and was known as Great Hill. 

To the south, just below the mouth of the Ashuelot, is a point of 
the bluff which has a conical shape, and was the site of an Indian fort. 
At the extreme south end of the town, on Pembroke-grant brook, 
is a similar cone-shaped hill, sometimes called Fort Hill. It is a little 
back from the Connecticut, about sixty feet in height, and has an area 
on the top of one acre. No distinct tradition connects it with known 

Introduction! 13 

events of history ; but it is not unlikely that it was once the site of an 
Indian fort. 

Two small hills to the southward of Old Crag, just over the Erving 
line, bear the names of Jack's Hill and Keeup's Hill. The former is 
directly east of the house of Calvin Priest. Keeup's hill is on the 
home place of Jonathan Delva. Tradition marks them as the sites 
of Indian cabins ; and the respective names commemorate the native 

On the west side of the river the highlands are less prominent, 
and are not specially connected with our annals. Pisgah, and Grass 
Hill, visible from Northfield street, are in Gill, though the latter was 
included within the bounds of this town from 1720 to 1795. Pond 
Mountain is in the north-west corner of the town. The name comes 
from a pond of 100 acres, known as White-lily pond, lying at its 
northerly base. 

There are several noted points in the Meadow hill on this side of 
the river ; one is below the Great bend ; another against Little mea- 
dow; a third just above Bennett's meadow ; and a fourth a half-mile 
below this meadow. The one north of Bennett's meadow is known 
in history as Philip's Hill. It is a projection of the plain which comes 
near to the river bank. It was fortified in King Philip's time ; and 
was his rendezvous for a part of the winter of 1675-6. He was 
here March 7, 1676, the day that Mrs. Rowlandson reached the 
deserted plantation opposite, but moved up the river on the 8th. The 
hill was defended by a ditch and bank on the westerly side, and other- 
wise by its steep ascent ; but being only about sixty feet high, it was 
a position of no great strength. 

Meadows.— The level lands on the banks of the Connecticut 
river were the chief dependence of the first settlers for grass, of 
which they yielded a super-abundance. The annual burning over of 
these meadows and adjacent uplands by the Indians had kept them 
clean from brush and made them ready for the scythe ; and the native 
grasses, if cut early, were palatable to stock, and highly nutritious. 
The higher portion of these meadows was ready to be broken up by 
the plow, and produced great crops of wheat, flax and corn. 

These lands were of course the most desirable and valuable ; and 
were the first to be allotted and enclosed. Every engager for the 
First and Second Settlements received, in addition to a home-lot, a 
share of these interval lands, proportionate to the amount he sub- 
scribed to the common stock. Hence the river meadows were all 
named ; and the names then given arc land-marks in history — occur- 

14 History of Northfieid. 

ring in early grants and deeds, and in most instances perpetuated to 
the present day. 

These tracts of meadow are not continuous. In many places the 
blurF or high plain comes quite to the channel and borders the river 
for a considerable distance. Much of the soil is purely alluvial — 
formed by the deposits of the spring floods. The current is contin- 
ually wearing in some points, and filling up in others ; hence some 
meadows are gaining and others losing ; and the change in the course 
of a century is very considerable. 

The matter of fencing these meadows — when cattle were allowed 
to run at large — was an item of some cost and constant care to the 
early settlers. At first, when every householder had his lot in each 
interval, this matter was properly a town affair. But when from 
increase of population, or the buying up of small claims, the owner- 
ship became a strictly individual concern, the proprietors of each 
meadow organized themselves into a body corporate, which had con- 
trol of the whole matter of fencing and feeding. They held their 
annual meetings, and chose clerk, fence-viewers, and haywards, 
determined each man's proportion of fence, and assessed a rate on 
themselves to pay all incidental charges. 

Beginning at the south and on the east side of the river, the first 
of importance is : 

Pine Meadow. — This is not named in the two earlier Settlements; 
and it appears to have been then covered with a young growth of yel- 
low pines, and consequently was not considered of much value. Oak, 
or rift timber, as it was called, i. e., timber that could be readily split 
into clap-boards and shingles, was the only kind thought to be fit for 
use for buildings and fences. 

Next above are the Three Little Meadows, now known as Little 
meadows, lying west of Cow plain. These are of special historical 
interest, as having received their name before any settlement was 
made at Northfieid. And the southern end of these meadows marks 
the original south bound of the township, as laid out by the first Com- 
mittee in 1672. The entire lower part of this interval belonged to 
the farm which was granted in 1719 to Col. John Stoddard of North- 
ampton, as part of the 100 acres set to him, in recognition of and 
payment for his services as clerk of the Committee for Northfieid. 
In 1729, Col. Stoddard sold this farm for ^550, to Ensign Zechariah 
Field and Orlando Bridgcman ; and it is known in modern times as 
the Field farm. As seen from the higher ground, the strip of inter- 
val appears to be a single long and narrow meadow : but originally it 

Introduction. 1 5 

was crossed by two little brooks which cut gullies and divided it into 
three parts — and hence the name. 

Great Meadow. — This tract — originally rated at 385 acres — from 
its size and location directly west of the town plot, was the first of 
the meadows to be divided to the settlers, and was the most valuable 
of all the alluvial lands. It was both the town's granary and treasury 
and storehouse. It was lotted out before the planters moved upon 
the ground ; and was the only common field which was fenced in 
during the First Settlement. And every grantee had his due propor- 
tion in this fruitful interval. To distinguish it from the large meadow 
on the west side of the river, some miles' higher up, when that upper 
tract was lotted out in the Second Settlement this was called u The 
Great meadow by the town," and is so designated in early deeds. 

The soil in this large meadow varied in different parts, as affected 
by stagnant water, or unequal action of freshets ; and for the pur- 
poses of taxation the land was distinguished into first and second quali- 
ties. The lots were laid out east and west. Two highways were 
laid from the town street to the meadow, and an intersecting highway 
in the meadow crossing every man's lot. 

Pauchaug.—T\\e meadow now known by this Indian name, con- 
tained 130 acres, and was next in value to Great meadow, as it was 
next in convenience of location. The word pauchauog signifies, danc- 
ing place ; and from the peculiar application of the term by the first 
English comers, and from the peculiar conformation of the bluffs on 
the easterly side, as well as from the fact that the place was about 
equidistant from Massemet's and Nawelet's villages, it is believed 
that the two native clans were accustomed to meet here for their an- 
nual games and merry-making. 

This tract was rich and productive, and was alloted to the settlers 
( though not fenced ) in 1673. But as the new comers at the reset- 
tlement in 1685, complained that these best lands were already appro- 
priated, and thus their shares unequal, the first grantees agreed " to 
give up Pauchaug," and have it relotted to the settlers, without 
regard to previous rights. Most of this meadow fell to the new 

Doolitt/e's Meadow. — Originally this tract of low land was partly 
included in the Wells's meadow draught, 1 and partly in the Fifth 
meadow draught, as they were named and allotted in 1685-6. It was 

1 The term draught was used to designate any tract of land which was by order of the 
town surveyed by the sworn measurers, and of which a flan or draught was made, ready to be 
drawn for by lot on a specified day. 

1 6 History of Northfield. 

not as large nor as valuable then as now, the current being nearer 
the eastern bank, and the land more marshy. The present name 
commemorates the first pastor of the church and his heirs, who have 
been large owners here. 

Ashuelot Meadow, as the name was applied by the settlers in 1685, 
embraced only the low land which formed the tongue between this 
stream and the Connecticut. The *two meadows higher up the 
Ashuelot were not divided, till the choice pitches were assigned in 

1731. The Ashuelot draught, as it was called, took in the tongue 
of land above named, and the large meadow opposite, on the westerly 
side of the Connecticut. 

Merry s Meadow lay above the site of the old Hinsdale meeting- 
house. It extended from Merry's meadow brook northerly 367 
perches. It received its name from Cornelius Merry, a Northfield 
settler of 1673 an( * I ^^5» wno ' n c ^ e l atter y ear na d a grant of \\\ 
acres at the south end of the meadow. The balance of the tract 
was not allotted till the Third Settlement. 

Through some misapprehension about the town bounds, in June 

1732, the General court o£ Massachusetts granted to Governor 
"Jonathan Belcher 500 acres of province land, " beginning at a black 

oak standing on the east bank of the Connecticut river, at the north 
end of Merry's meadow ( so called ), and runs from thence E. 39 
30' N. 190 perch, thence S. 39 3c/ E. 367 perch, thence W. 39 
30' S. 190 perch to an elm tree, standing in the corner between the 
Connecticut river and the little brook emptying into the river at the 
lower end of Merry's meadow, thence along the Connecticut river to 
the place of beginning." 

Upon remonstrance by the Northfield proprietors the matter was 
investigated by the colonial authorities, and as suificient evidence ex- 
isted that the tract in question was within the limits of Northfield, 
the grant to Belcher was annulled, and an equivalent elsewhere laid 
out to him. 

The original proprietors of Merry's meadow, were Eleazar Mattoon, 
Daniel Shattuck, William Wright, Peter Evens, Joseph Petty, Jr., 
Robert Cooper, Nathaniel Mattoon, Moses Nash, Zachery Lawrence, 
Benoni Moore, Benjamin Palmer. The lots varied in size from five 
acres to fifteen acres. The first meeting of these proprietors for 
organization was held April 5, 1736. It was voted, That the 
meadow be fenced according to law by the 20th of this instant April. 
Fence viewers were chosen, who were ordered to lay out y e fence and 
proportion it to each proprietor, in proportion to y e place where it lies 

Introduction. 1 7 

and return a list to y e town clerk of" Northfield. Voted, That lots be 
drawn to find where men's fence shall lie, beginning at the lower end of 
s d meadow. In the same year, a highway two rods wide was laid by 
the town, from Pauchaug to Merry's meadow. 

In 173 1, Jonathan Janes took one of his choice lots of 45 £ acres 
above Merry's meadow. It was bounded west by the Connecticut 
river, north by the north line of Northfield, east by the Fourth division 
of Commons. He sold this lot August 9, 1 745, to John Mun, weaver, 
of Northfield. 

In 1753, among the Fourth Division lots apportioned to the North- 
field inhabitants, lying east of or against Merry's meadow, was one 
of 89 acres to widow Martha Dickinson which " lay east of Col. 
Hinsdell's lane ; " and another of 156^ acres to Simeon Alexander, 
which lay u north of widow Dickinson's land." 

On the west side of the river, beginning at tfye south, is : 

Bennett's Meadow, so called after James Bennett, an early explorer 
and setfler of 1675. The Indian name as given in the original deed 
was Nallaham comgon or Natanis ; as given in a deed of Joseph Par- 
sons's heirs, August 12, 1715, it was Halbacum comgane, or Huff anus. 
It contained about 200 acres ; and notwithstanding the inconvenience 
of crossing the river, the lots here were esteemed of great value. 
The lands in this meadow were surveyed and allotted out and first 
recorded June 9, 1686. The list names sixteen proprietors. It was 
resurveyed and new bounds set to the lots, October 13, 17 16. The 
south side of this meadow was the original south bound of the town 
on the west of the river. 

Little Meadow is described in the early records as lying " opposite 
the upper end of Pauchaug," and contained twenty-four acres. Its 
south bound was Little meadow brook, now Belding's brook. 

Third Meadow, next above, was separated from the preceding by 
only a narrow ravine or gully. It was estimated at thirty-six acres. 
Both of these intervals are now known as Little meadow. 

JVells's Meadow was the name applied to the interval lands lying 
above Rock island. The Wells-meadow draught included some 
part of the low lands on the opposite side of the river. 

Fifth Meadow, or " Great meadow above the town," as it is called 
in the records, embraced the low lands lying northerly of Wells's 
meadow, and extended above Pomeroy's island. The Fifth-meadow 
draught took in the upper part of the Doolittle meadow. In some 
deeds the name Doolittle's meadow is applied to the whole of the 
Fifth-meadow draught. 

1 8 History of Northfield. 

Stebbins's Meadow, near Clary's island, was part of the Ashuelot 

Cold-spring Meadow was near the north line of the town, and 
adjoined the Bridgeman farm. 

Islands (in the Connecticut). — Clarke's Island, off the upper end 
of Pine meadow, was granted by the town to William Clarke in 
1686, and confirmed to his heirs Feb. 23, 1723. It then contained 
iof acres. By the growth of trees and consequent accumulation of 
soil, it increased in size to sixteen acres. But since the wood was 
cleared off the freshets have swept away the larger part of the island. 
This has been known as Field's island, and Stratton island. 

Like so many places — possible and impossible — this island was 
reputed to be one of the spots where Captain Kidd the pirate buried 
a chest of gold. The legend is, that Kidd and his men ascended the 
river — how they got over the three falls with their ponderous load is 
not stated — till they reached this secluded island. Here, having 
placed the heavy chest in its hole, they sacrificed by lot one of their 
number, and laid his body a top of the treasure, that his gho?t might 
forever after defend it from all fortune-seekers. Many a man longed 
for the gold, but had not the courage to disturb the ghost. But in an 
evil hour, Abner Field, after consulting a noted conjurer, and ascer- 
taining the exact spot where the chest was buried, resolved 4 * to tempt 
the devil on the haunted isle." Intrusting the secret to two confede- 
rates—for nothing could be done without the presence of three — 
he waited for the propitious time, which was when the full moon was 
directly over-head at midnight. They were to form a triangle around 
the designated point, and work in perfect silence — as a word spoken 
would break the charm f Having reached the island, and fixed upon 
the spot, they begin. The hard labor and terror of the still midnight, 
with its imagined dusky sprites, brought out the big drops of perspira- 
tion ; but they dug with desperation, for if the cock should crow the 
spell would dissolve. Raising the crow-bar for a mighty stroke, 
down it goes — clink ! against the iron lid. " Tou've hit it/" ex- 
claims one, forgetting the charge of silence. Alas ! for that word. 
The charm is broken ; and instantly the chest settled down out of 
reach ; and as instantly the disturbed ghost appeared, flitting around 
them ! And before they can collect their scattered senses, Satan 
himself — full six feet tall — rises from under the bank, crosses the 
island " like a wheel," going right through a hay-stack, and plunges 
into the river with a yell and splash ! Thus was the hope of anxious 

Introduction. 1 9 

months blasted ! But the diggers ever after insisted — as they told 
the story to the eager group gathered of an evening before the blazing 
fire — that they struck the iron lid ; and might have been rich men, 
but for the unlucky exclamation, "you've hit it !" 

Some were malicious enough to say that the secret of the expedi- 
tion was betrayed in advance ; and that Oliver Smith and an accom- 
plice were on hand to personate the ghost and the evil one. 

Janes's Island, named in the early records, and then containing 
twelve acres, was "just above Pauchaug." It was granted in 1686 
to Elder William Janes ; and afterwards to his son Joseph. 

Nov. 15, 1721. Benj" Janes and Jona. Janes sell this island to 
Stephen Belding ; and it is named in a French map, published some 
years later, Betting's island. 

At that time it was wholly separated from the river bank, and the 
easterly channel was so deep as to allow the flat-bottomed boats to pass 
up. At present this channel is substantially filled up, so that the island 
has become a part of Doolittle's meadow. 

Rock Island, a short distance above, near the west bank, is now 
only a ledge of bare rock. 

Pomeroy's Island is about IOO rods below the mouth of the Ashue- 
lot. It once contained about twelve acres, but the wearing of the 
current on the easterly side, has reduced the area nearly one-half. 
It was named for Nathaniel Pomeroy of Deeriield, who was killed 
here by the Indians July 15, 1698. The story is told in chapter iv. 

Clary's Island, now known as Stebbins's Island, contains thirty acres, 
and is situated below the Great bend, and about one-fourth of a mile 
above the mouth of the Ashuelot. It was granted to John Clary Jr. 
in 1685. For several generations it has belonged to Capt. Joseph 
Stebbins and his descendants. This island is intimately connected 
with the history of the Indian occupancy, and will be often referred 
to in subsequent chapters. 

Wright's Island, now Elmer's Island, lies between the mouths of 
Salmon and Cold brooks. According to the records, it contains five 
acres, and was granted in 1731 to the heirs of Benjamin Wright Jr. 
It afterwards belonged, by grant or purchase, to Hezekiah Elmer, 
and was held by his sons. 

Spring Island, is named in the records, as early as 1 73 1, and de- 
scribed as lying " against Merry's meadow." 

Plains. — As this term was used by the early settlers, it had a 
restricted meaning. It was not applied to level lands in general, but 

20 History of Nortbfield. 

to certain well defined tracts that had some common peculiarity of 
soil and condition, were nearly free from trees, and could be readily 
cultivated. With a few exceptions, the lands so designated lie on 
the first and second terraces back of the river meadows. 
On the east side of the river, beginning at the south, was 
Four Mile Brook Plain, which lay northerly from that stream. This 
was granted to settlers who came between the years 1716 and 1723; 
or to speak more definitely, this plain was the bait held out to tempt 
young men to come and settle. When an unmarried man of good 
character visited the place, or his name was brought to their notice, 
the Committee would vote him a grant often acres of upland, to be 
laid out at Four mile brook plain, or some convenient place ; it being 
understood that a title was only secured by actual residence in town. 
About twenty such grants were made, some of which were accepted 
and some forfeited. 

Cow Plain, or South Plain, extended from the lower end of the 
Three-little meadows, skirting the said meadows, to Saw-mill brook. 
It was granted to settlers who came to Northfield between 17 14 and 
1 720, mostly in lots of five and ten acres each. The lots were 
laid out east and west. Benjamin Janes had the ten acres next to 
Saw-mill brook. Col. Stoddard's farm took in a considerable part 
of this plain, together with all the land in Little meadows "south of 
the northernmost brook that crosses said meadows." Joseph Petty 
had thirteen acres south of the Stoddard farm. The proprietors of 
this plain organized as a body corporate in 1746. 

There is pretty clear evidence that this plain was the planting field 
of the Indian tribe which dwelt on the adjoining plain and neighbor- 
ing bluffs. If so, it will account for the fact, stated in the first grants 
and deeds, that in the early settlement of the town, the slopes of both 
the meadow hill and the hill east were covered with an old growth of 
spruce trees, some standing and some fallen down from age. The 
dictate of self-preservation would induce the natives to spare the ad- 
jacent lands from the devastation of their annual fires, and thus these 
primeval trees remained. 

Beers' s Plain. This historic spot lies east of Cow plain and extends 
to Saw-mill brook. It received its name from Capt. Richard Beers, 
who with his company was ambushed here by the Indians September 
4» ^75, and he and the larger part of his men slain. This plain 
was the site of an Indian village, as attested by the remains of their 
granaries, and their large burial places — a full account of which, as 
well as of the onset of 1675, will be found in the body of this work. 

Introduction/ 2 1 

These lands were not distributed by special grant, like those of the 
plain west, but were included in what is known as the " First Division 
of Commons," and were allotted to the inhabitants in 1731. The 
soil was originally free, though abundantly fertile ; but by continual 
cropping with rye, it became exhausted, and the lower part is now 
mainly a pine barren and shifting sand. 

Pauchaug Plain was the table of land lying east of the meadow of 
the same name. It was divided into ten acre lots, which were appor- 
tioned, early in the Third Settlement, to such of the inhabitants as 
had no lots on Cow plain. 

Log Plain lay to the north of Pauchaug brook and west of Staddle 
hill. It was distributed to the settlers in the same manner as the 
plain below. 

Wells's Plain is mentioned in the records of 1686. The name was 
applied to the high lands above Pauchaug, and on the west side of 
the river opposite, back of Little and Third meadows. The west 
side portion was of a broken character, and was not esteemed especial- 
ly valuable. Some of the east side lands belonging to this tract were 
allotted in the Second Settlement. 

Moose Plain was on the west side of the river. It took in the first 
table or high bank between Mallory's brook on the south and Little- 
meadow brook on the north. It was divided to the settlers in 1685, 
and contained 120 acres. At the commencement of the Third Set- 
tlement, it was a famous place for raising wheat and rye. 

Second-moose Plain lay directly back of Moose plain. It is first 
named in the records in 17 17, and was divided to the new inhabitants 
April 5, 1720. It was estimated at i85acres. September r, 1740, 
the proprietors of the two Moose plains met and organized as a single 
corporation, and voted to build a fence around the entire tract. The 
rule of fencing adopted was, " one rod and thirteen feet to each acre 
held by a proprietor." January 4, 1773, cne proprietors of First- 
moose plain organized as a distinct corporation. 

Swamps. — As used by our fathers in the earliest times, this term 
did not necessarily denote marshy ground ; but flat land which from 
its peculiar location had escaped the ravages of the annual fires set 
by the Indians, and was covered with an old growth of wood. The 
only tract in this town thus mentioned in the records of the First 
and Second Settlements was : 

Great Swamp, which lay directly east of the town plot. During 
the first occupancy of 1673-75, it was held in common. When the 

22 History of Nortbfield. 

settlors returned in 1685, it was divided into thirty-two lots, of differ- 
ent sizes, and each householder received his proper proportion. These 
lots were 160 rods long, running east and west. As is well known, 
the mountains and hills, at this date, were mostly bare of wood ; and, 
except the ravines, and the protected slopes bordering the meadows 
and plains, this swamp was the only place handy to the street, where 
the settlers found timber suitable for building purposes. 

Dry Swamp, which was in brushwood in 1673, and had become 
well timbered with oak and hard pine in 17 14, lay to the south and 
east of Great swamp. The name was applied to the lands drained 
by Miller's brook, extending from the home-lots on the west to the 
six rods highway on the east. 

This tract was lotted out after the settlement of 17 14, and appor- 
tioned to such new comers as had no rights in Great swamp. The 
lots were laid north and south ; were about 100 rods long, and mostly 
contained five acres six rods each, except Ebenezer Field's, which 
had ten acres thirteen rods. This large piece was given to him, 
because, being a blacksmith, he needed abundance of charcoal. 

The Great swamp, as it is now known, east of the mountains, was 
too far away to be of much account to the early settlers. The north 
part was then a reedy marsh or pond (called Crane's pond) ; the south 
part was heavily wooded. Mrs. Rowlandson, in company with about 
2000 Indians, spent the night of Monday, March 6, 1676, by the side 
of this swamp. The camp was near where the highway to Wendell 
crosses Keeup's brook, to the east of Crag mountain. 

The Commons. — The plains and meadows and the two swamps, 
that were allotted to the settlers, and thus became individual estates, 
comprised by a small portion of the territory. By far the largest part 
of the lands in old Northfield was known by the name of the commons, 
and was, till 1 73 1, open to all the inhabitants alike for pasturage, and 
for gathering candle wood, and under certain restrictions, fuel. The 
account of the subsequent division of these common lands, will form 
a curious chapter in these annals. 

There are certain special tracts, and noted landmarks, and points 
of historic interest, that deserve mention in this connection. 

The Commonwealth is a tract of about sixty five acres of high 
broken land, to the east of Dry swamp. It lay common till taken 
up bv Gen. John Nevers in the early part of the present century. It 
was here that young Benjamin Wright was shot by the Indians, Au- 
gust 11, 1746. 

Introduction. 23 

IVigwam, is the name applied in deeds and tax lists, to a consider- 
able tract lying south-west of Roman T. It appears to denote the 
spot of an Indian encampment, and was named for the remains of a 
large granary found here in early times. 

Crooked Hollow is a serpentine ravine or gully, east of Pine meadow. 

Old Soldier's Hole. — This is a deep ravine leading from the plain 
to the river, one-fourth of a mile south of the lower point of Three- 
little meadows. The story is, that a soldier, in flying from the In- 
dians, at the time of Beers's fight, jumped into this gully, and secreted 
himself, and so escaped the notice of the savages. It marks the south 
boundary of the First Division lots. 

Cooper's Cave. — This is a deep gully at the bottom of Meadow hill, 
west of the Nathaniel Mattoon home-lot. Tradition has it, that in 
the war of 1722-6, Robert Cooper went out from the fort to the 
spring for water, and finding himself cut off bj an Indian scout, hid 
in this hole, till relieved by friends who became alarmed at his long 

Stratton Hollow. — There were two spots known by this name. 
One was in the Great meadow, just west" from Cooper's cave. An- 
other was near Pine meadow. Both were called after the owners of 
the land. 

The Gulf, and The Ice Cave, and Rattle-snake Den, have been suffi- 
ciently indicated in the description of Brush mountain. 

Cooper's Point, has been already named, but needs a more particular 
description. It lies inside the Great bend in the Connecticut, and is 
now in the town of Hinsdale, N. H. It was named from Robert 
Cooper, who had land here, and who built a house just above, near 
the site of the old Hinsdale meeting-house, as early as 1738. He 
may have built a little earlier, as the records refer to Cooper's Point 

in 1735- 

Council Rock, was a noted spot in Northfield's early history. It 
was a huge mass of pudding-stone that cropped out in the middle of 
the town street, just against the south Warwick road. The rock 
rose three feet above the general level of the ground, was nearly flat 
on the top, and about 20 X 30 feet in diameter. Here the old men 
were accustomed to gather, on summer evenings, to hear the news, 
discuss politics and tell stories ; and the boys were on hand, to listen 
to the stories, or have a game of goal. About the year 1821, the 
rock was blasted away, and the fragments put into a stone wall, which 
stands a little way to the south-east. The travelled way, which for- 

24 History of Northfield, 

merly ran on the east side of the rock, now passes directly over the 
centre of its ancient bed. 

Be/ding's Rock stands in the highway just north of Mill brook. It 
marks the spot where Aaron Belding was shot and scalped by the 
Indians, July 23, 1748. 

The Meeting Oak. A cluster of half a dozen yellow oaks, then 
old trees, was standing in 1673, near the lower end of the town street. 
It is a tradition that the settlers held a Sabbath service of public wor- 
ship under the shade of one of these trees during their first summer's 
residence in Northfield, where Elder William Janes preached to his 
fellow adventurers. The last of these memorable trees, which stood 
in front of the house of John Wright, was burned down July 5, 1869. 

Shade Trees in Northfield Street. — The two elms standing close to- 
gether and near the line of the highway, in front of the Parson Doo- 
little home-lot, now Lewis T. Webster's, and several others in this 
immediate neighborhood, were set in 1782 by Caleb Lyman, who 
then owned the homestead. The two in question stood on either 
side of his front door. The remaining trees of large size, in the 
central part of the village, which add so essentially to its beauty and 
comfort, were set in 1813-15, by Thomas Power, Esq., then a resi- 
dent in the town. 












The River Indians, 

Agawams — Nonotucks — Pacomptocks — Squakheacs — Origin of the 
Tribe — Indian Forts — V i llage Sites — Domestic Life — Customs — 
Food — Games — Religion. 

N 1670, the Indians living in the valley of the Connecticut 
river, within the territory claimed by Massachusetts, were 
located in detached villages, at pohnts which commanded 
the readiest means of subsistence and safety. They had 
previously sold to the whites the major part of their best lands — re- 
serving in all cases what alone was valuable to them, viz : their plant- 
ing fields, and the right of hunting, fowling and fishing, and setting 
wigwams on the commons ; and the two races were holding a sort of 
joint occupancy. The white settlers had in every instance been wel- 
comed ; had paid for the lands to the satisfaction of the original owners ; 
and though there was no mingling of races, and no social equality, the 
two lived on neighborly terms — with as little of friction and quarreling 
as the nature of the case allowed. 

The Agawams occupied the region above and below Springfield. 
Here were fine meadows for corn, and the foot of the falls above 
was a noted fishing place. 

The Nonotucks or Norwottucks, who originally claimed the country 
from the head of the falls to Mount Wequomps (now Sugarloaf), had 
villages and forts on both sides of the river. They had several plant- 
ing fields of 12 to 20 acres each ; the hills to the west were covered 
with chestnut trees which furnished a store of nuts ; and the swamps 
and plains abounded in deer, wild turkeys and other game. 

The Pacomptocks occupied the valley of the Deerfield river; and 
the Squakheags claimed the country north, both above and below the 
present state line. 

It is a commonly accepted opinion that these tribes or clans immi- 
grated from the eastward. According to Gookin, who wrote Historic- 
al Sketches of the Indians, the Pacomptocks (including the Nonotucks) 

26 History of Northfield. 

were subject to the sachem of the Massachusetts nation. It may seem 
presumption to differ with an author so well informed rnd reliable ; 
but it is submitted that their war record proves that they were accus- 
tomed to act independently both of the Massachusetts tribe, and the 
Massachusetts colonial authorities. 

The date when the red men settled in the valley is unknown. That 
they had been here for many generations, and had once been large in 
numbers and formidable in power is evident ; but whether they were 
swept off by the malignant disremper that was so fatal to the eastern 
Indians in 1612-13, or had perished in war, it is not possible to deter- 
mine. That they had recently suffered severe losses in a war with 
the Mohawks is certain ; and their partially crippled condition and the 
fear of their powerful enemy at the west, probably had an influence 
in bringing about the special favor with which they at first treated the 

Of the exact numbers of these several tribes, at the date named, it 
is somewhat difficult to form an estimate. Their villages were not 
attractive to white visitors; their general gatherings for powows and 
games were seldom or never witnessed by the English, and if present, 
an outsider could hardly distinguish between residents, and delegates 
from other tribes. And their mode of warfare — when they assumed 
the offensive against our people a few years later — rendered it im- 
possible to determine the number engaged in a given assault. They 
never showed themselves in the open field in force ; and their simul- 
taneous fire from behind the scattered trees of a thicket, or their sudden 
appearance at detached points of attack were well calculated to de- 
ceive as to numbers. And fear always multiplies dangers. Taking 
the names attached to the several deeds of land sold to the whites, 
which were signed by the heads of the leading families ; the capacity 
and appearance of their different villages and forts, as described by 
witnesses and attested by authentic remains ; and the numbers known 
to be actually engaged in some of their important expeditions, it is 
believed that the aggregate number of the four tribes named did not 
exceed, at the date under consideration, 1 200, of whom not more than 
300 were warriors. 1 

Of these tribes, the Pacomptock was the largest, most warlike, and 
best known. This and the Nonotucks were evidently of common 
origin, and were closely allied in purpose and interest. Indeed, the 

'The common belief of tile time made it double or treble chit number : Mr. Judd's esti- 
mate makes it some less. 

The River Indians. zj 

name Pacomptocks was often used by the writers of the time, to include 
both clans. They appear to have been a branch of the Nipnet or 
Nipmuck family, which was scattered over the more central parts of 
the state, and about the ponds on both sides of the Connecticut state 
line, in the neighborhood of Dudley and Woodstock. 1 These two 
clans were distinct in their possessions, and maintained each its own 
separate jurisdiction. Each was divided into several families or sub- 
clans ; and while for the purposes of war or defence, the two might 
acknowledge the leadership of one high chieftain, in ordinary times 
the principal families claimed and held the right of ownership in a 
specified tract of land, where were placed their fort and planting-ground. 
The territory held by the Pacomptocks proper, extended from the 
southerly end of Mt. Wequomps, to the north side of the meadow 
called Nallahamcomgon, now Bennett's meadow in Northfield. Toward 
the west their bound was indefinite. On the east it was nominally 
the Connecticut river, though their land extended much beyond this 
stream. Embraced in this tract were swamps and rivulets which 
afforded the best and handiest means for obtaining furs; the rich 
valley of the Deerfield river furnished abundant planting-ground ; and 
the Pasquamscut a (Turner's) falls were unsurpassed as a fishing place. 
And as evidence of the prosperity and thrift of this savage people, it 
should be stated that they once, from their surplus stores, saved the 
infant Connecticut colony from impending famine. The spring of 
1637 was so occupied by the English settlers at Windsor, Hartford 
and Wethersfield in preparing for and carrying on the war with the 
Pequots, that they failed to plant the requisite amount of corn and 
wheat. The following winter proving unusually long and severe, 
their provisions were wholly exhausted. On the first opening of 
spring (1638) a deputation was sent up to Agawam, where they failed 
to get supplies ; and then up the river to Pacomptock, where they 
found plenty of corn, and purchased of the Indians enough to load a 
fleet of 50 canoes, which were taken down the river by the natives, 
and the corn delivered at the towns designated. 

This tribe took an important part in the wars of the period. They 
were generally ready on occasion to help the Massachusetts, the Nip- 
nets, and the Narragansetts, in their frequent struggles, as well as to 

1 According Co Mr. Judd, the Nonotucka were accustomed to claim blood-relationship 
with the Quaboags. 

3 Peske or pas-ompsk-ut, means, at the divided or parting rock, alluding to the rock near 
the head of the fall, which diviJed the waters. This rock was the favorite fishing-stand or' 
the Indians. 

28 History of Northfield. 

undertake enterprises of their own. In 1656, Uncas, the Mohegan 
sachem, moved up the river, wi'h a considerable force, to take revenge 
of the Pacomptocks for some previous injury. The particulars of the 
expedition are not recorded; but it is known that the Pacomptocks 
successfully repelled the assault — "had so great a victory over him, 
and killed so many of his [Uncas's] men." 1 

The next year (1657) a raid for retaliation was planned by the 
Pacomptocks. "YVequogonoag, sachem of Narraganset, Wetowas- 
nati [and] Wisquoconc commissioners for Massepetoat Pacomptock 
sachem, Wampequamenet sachem, [and] Warquacunc, petitioned the 
General court of Massachusetts for liberty to make war upon Uncas. 2 
The court's consent was not given ; but the Pacomptocks went 
down the river secretly, and committed various depredations upon 
the allies of the Mohegan chief. The following extract from the 
records of the commissioners of the United Colonies (Sept. 1657), 
throws a little light on this expedition : " and the Gov r . of Conn', is 
desired to signify to the Pocomtick and Norwootick Sachems on 
charge upon Unckas in reference to the Podunk Indians, and on 
desire of their return to their dwelling and continuance there in 
Peace ; therefore we desire and expect they (the Pocomtick Sachems) 
will forbcare ail hostility against Unckas till the next meeting of the 

In 1659 the United Colonies again sent messengers to them, re- 
questing them to suspend hostilities. The Sachems received the 
commissioners respectfully ; made a reply characterized by modera- 
tion, shrewdness and firmness ; but declined to make peace. 3 These 
incidents help us to understand the strength and status of this tribe. 

About 1663, the Mohawks, who lived on the river of that name 
in New York, and were the inveterate enemies of the northern 
Massachusetts tribes, made a descent upon the River Indians, and 
committed serious depredations here and to the eastward. The Deer- 
field valley was the scene of sanguinary conflicts. It is an accepted 
tradition that in this or another of their incursions the Mohawks at- 
tacked the Pacomptocks in their fort, situated on what is now known 
as Fort hill, a half-mile northeast of Deerfield meeting-house, and 
carried it after a severe contest, in which many were slain on both 
sides. The victors then fell upon the Squakheags : and pursuing 
their march eastward, inflicted great injury upon the tribes living on 
the Nushaway and Merrimack rivers. 

1 Mi!.-. /J.\v/.y, vol. ill, p. +36. a Manuscript Court Records. 

iJuJS* UudUy, p. 124. 

The River Indians. 29 

To revenge their injuries, several of the Massachusetts tribes 
formed a combination, and in the summer of 1669, with a force esti- 
mated at 600 or 700 warriors, marched for the Mohawk country. 
Chickatawbut, the principal sachem of the Massachusetts tribe, ap- 
pears to have headed the expedition. The chiefs of the Nonotucks, 
and Pacomptocks, and Squakheags, with their clans entered eagerly 
into the campaign, and made large preparations. Learning of their 
design, the Massachusetts authorities used every means in their 
power to dissuade the Indians from their hazardous undertaking ; 
but in vain. The eastern clans gathered on the river ; and the 
western trail was taken up. The Mohawks appear to have received 
timely intelligence of the approach of their enemy, and made pre- 
paration for their reception. Arriving at the nearest Mohawk fort, 
the Massachusetts sachem at once invested it with his whole force ; 
but for some reason he failed to make an immediate assault, and the 
delay proved his ruin. After a seige of several days, and at least 
one sanguinary battle, in which our Indians gained the advantage, 
finding his ammunition and provisions nearly exhausted, the assailant 
drew off his forces, and commenced a retreat towards the Bay. 
Observing his movement, the Mohawks left their fort and by a de- 
tour gained a position in front, and planted an ambuscade in a thick- 
set swamp, where they made an unexpected and furious attack on 
the retreating army. The battle is believed to have been fierce and 
bloody, and the loss of the New England Indians about fifty, includ- 
ing the leader and several under chiefs. On the approach of dark- 
ness the Mohawks returned to their fort, and the dispirited and 
broken invaders pursued their homeward march. Peace between 
the rival nations was not concluded for nearly two years, but no 
further hostile attempts were made from this quarter. 

The account of this struggle between the Massachusetts Indians 
and the Mohawks has been given so much in detail, because, in- 
directly, it prepared the way for the settlement of Northfield — as 
will appear in the sequel. 

The Squakheags. — The territory of the Squakheags lay to the 
north of the lands held by the Pacomptocks, and took in both sides 
of the Connecticut river. 

Its northbound was "the little river called Wanasquatok" (Broad 
brook), which empties into the Connecticut near the north line of 
the town of Vernon, Vt. There is no evidence to show how far 
the tribe claimed ownership toward the west ; probably not more 
than 9 miles from the river. But they claimed the territory to the 

jo History of Nortbfield. 

eastward to near the headwaters of Miller's river — as appears from 
the fact that a descendant of Nawelet at a later period sold a large 
tract in the neighborhood of Paquayag (Athol), which land, as ap- 
pears from the deed, came to him (the Indian) by inheritance. From 
all the facts that have been gathered, it is concluded that the Squak- 
heags were not related to the Pacomptocks. The distinctive pecu- 
liarities of language, and marks of tribal affinity, all connect them 
with the clans living on the banks of the Merrimack river. It is 
known that they were in close alliance with the Pennacooks, with 
whom they maintained intimate relations after the close of King 
Philip's war. But their early history, both before immigration and 
as a River tribe, is involved in much obscurity. Their somewhat 
isolated position would naturally screen them from public notice ; 
and as a frontier tribe, exposed on the west and north, their at- 
tention must necessarily have been much devoted to self-defence and 
the means of subsistence. And as their own territory furnished 
abundance of game of all kinds, and furs and fish were plenty, and 
the rich meadows were fruitful and easily tilled, there was nothing 
but the love of war to tempt them abroad. 

That the tribe had lived here for several generations, is rendered 
probable by the large number of skeletons which have been un- 
earthed — sometimes singly, and sometimes by scores — in all the 
different stages of decay. That at one period they were prosperous 
and somewhat numerous, is abundantly shown by the remains — still 
visible — of their villages and defensive works on either side of the 
river. That they were skilled in Indian strategy, and were warlike 
and revengeful ; and that they entered heartily into the combination 
which had for its ultimate object the extermination of the whites, 
will appear from the part they took in the war of 1675-6, and the 
struggles of the next 80 years — to be narrated in these pages. 

The authentic history of the Squakheags begins about 1663 or 
'64. At this date the Mohawks made their famous incursion to 
New England, and having captured the Pacomptock fort marched 
northward and fell upon Squakheag. Here they made clean work. 
The forts were taken, the villages destroyed, and the Indians driven 
from their homes.' 

From this blow they never fully recovered. The next few years 
were years of uncertainty. J The Mohawks maintained a threatening 

1 Letter ot John I'ynchuU, Sept. 3, 1675. 

: Sept. 1665, 5 armed Mj<|ujs from the Hudson river were found near Boston; our In- 
dians Jemanded them; but they were dentin safety home by the governor — a kind of 
diplomacy not comprehensible to the savage, smarting under his wrongs ! 

The River Indians. 31 

attitude ; and the Colonial government appeared to have a greater 
desire to conciliate them than to protect their own border tribes. 

And thus was nurtured the discontent and suspicion which ripened 
a few years later into open hostility. The Squakheags did not re- 
linquish their lands ; probably they partially rebuilt their villages. 
They may have done something by way of planting their old fields, 
and during the fishing season repaired to their favorite spearing-places 
at the bend of the river above and below Elmer's island ; but their 
chief abiding place was nearer some of the friendly tribes — at Pa- 
quayag and Nashaway. 

When the central tribes united ia the expedition against the Mo- 
hawks in 1669, the Squakheag chiefs were forward in furthering the 
movement, hoping doubtless, to get full revenge for previous injuries. 
But after the disastrous failure of this enterprise (already narrated), 
they wholly deserted their old dwelling place. So that those that 
"went upon discovery" thither in 1670, could with truth say 
that "the want of inhabitants to burn the meadows and woods" 
caused " the growth of underwoods to increase " to such an extent as 
to threaten serious inconvenience, unless the place was speedily reset- 
tled. 1 As confirmatory testimony, it may be stated that in the first 
bargain with the whites, our Indians sold their lands below what was 
regarded by both parties to be their true value, and an additional sum 
was afterwards demanded and paid. And a most significant fact in 
these several sales is, that, contrary to what had hitherto been the 
uniform practice, the natives made no reservations of planting-grounds 
or other privileges, in the deeds of transfer and warranty. 


The Indian Name. — In the Indian language, the name of a place 
was always descriptive of the leading feature, or production, or use, 
or tradition of the location. And it is matter of profound regret that 
our present knowledge of that language is so limited. With a full 
understanding of their nouns generic and specific, and their common 
verb-forms and radicals, we could construct pretty satisfactorily, their 
geography and philosophy, and to a large extent trace their tribal his- 
tory. A name was a thing ; a verb expressed the relations of things. 
What the red man saw, what he/>/r, what he knew — had its exact 
representative in one of his simple syllables or combined words. His 
life was less complex than ours ; it had fewer accessories and contin- 
gents; it was compressed into a smaller space. Hence it could be 
more readily comprehended and delineated. His keen eye discovered 

1 Petition to General court, May 31, 1 671. 

3 2 History of Nortbfield. 

the characteristic feature of a place or quality of an object — his quick 
ear caught the distinctive sound — and his unerring perception drew 
the natural inference ; he saw and heard and marked what constituted 
the individuality of places, objects and events; — or, to speak more 
precisely, he marked that feature, quality, or sequence of a thing or 
event, which touched most nearly his own daily life, and most directly 
afFected his past experience and future purposes. Hence his picture- 
words are the exponents and records of himself and his life and his 
history ; they contain all the elements of his intuitive and acquired 
knowledge. They are to ethnology, what the fossil remains of 
animals and plants embedded in the rocks are to geology — only the 
one tells the story of successive epochs of created life ; the other the 
story of a departed race. 

As the Indians had no written vocabulary, the English had no 
means of learning the language but by the ear. And many of their 
syllabic sounds were somewhat obscure, and difficult to catch, and 
hard to be expressed by our letters. The apostle Eliot, and Roger 
Williams, took great pains to master the language, and reduce to a 
fixed form their modes of expression. But, what is especially to be 
deplored — the majority of the magistrates and scribes of the time, who 
made out the official records, such as deeds, and treaties, and ac- 
counts of expeditions, were inexcusably careless in designating persons 
and places. And this want of exactness, and the strange diversity in 
spelling, adds greatly to the difficulty of finding the synonym and 
definitions of Indian name-words. The name of our town furnishes 
a striking example in point. The Committee who visited the place 
in 1669 write it Suckquakege : the first petitioners for the grant of 
territory write Squawquegue and Wissquawquegue — evidently apply- 
ing to the two tracts held by the upper and lower clans. The Con- 
necticut council spell it Suckquackheag : John Pynchon writes 
Wussquakeag-, Samuel Partridge writes Wussquackheag : other au- 
thorities write Wcssquakheag and Soquagkeeke : the form Squakheag, 
used by the Rev. Solomon Stoddard in 1675, is evidently a contrac- 
tion of the more complex term. 

The two most competent authorities, who went upon the ground, 
and heard the name spoken by the natives, are Daniel Gookin and 
William Janes. The former writes Suckquakege ; the latter Wiss- 
quawquegue. Assuming that these most nearly represent the Indian 
vocal sounds, we get a probable clew to the word and its meaning. 
Namaui-squam-aug-khigt means, a spearing place of salmon. As 
uttered in a single breath it would be N'-m'-us-squag-kege ; con- 

The River, Indians. 33 

tracted still more, 'S-squakheag. This interpretation of the name 
is confirmed by the well known fact that the islands and mouths of 
the little streams from the upper end of Pauchaug to the head of the 
great bend were noted places for salmon and shad fishing. The name 
is exactly descriptive of the location. And in this view, nothing was 
more natural than that the first settlers should call one of the brooks 
of cold, pure water, which enters the river at this point, Salmon brook. 
The name is both explanatory and commemorative. 1 

The meaning of the word Suckquakege, and its equivalents (the 
interchange of the consonants M, N, and /F, as an initial was com- 
mon, and the greater or less prominence of the hissing sound not 
unusual, and does not affect the primary signification) implies that, 
as used by the natives it had a limited application, viz., to the spear- 
ing-places near their principal village. They had other words to 
designate other particular localities — as was shown in the preceding 
chapter. But this term has been adopted by the early writers, and 
is the accepted general name of the country covered by the old 
Northfield grants ; and it will be so used in these annals. Some- 
thing of geographical accuracy might be gained by the introduction 
of new descriptive titles to the subdivisions ; but usage has made the 
old name convenient and sufficiently clear. 

However, for a full understanding of the history of the prior In- 
dian occupation, these subdivisions need to be designated, in this con- 
nection, and some account of sectional characteristics given. For 
this purpose, a brief description in detail, of the face of the country 
as the Indians saw it, will be attempted, and the principal native set- 
tlements along the river will be pointed out. This is not always easy. 
Curiosity, and even honest inquiry will not be fully satisfied ; but a 
large amount of reliable data has been gathered, which throws a pretty 
clear light on what has been to a considerable extent a terra incognita. 

Some of the tribal limits, as well as the acknowledged lines between 

1 " The beat place for seine fishing in the early settlement of the country, where more 
salmon and shad were caught than at any other point on the river for miles above and below, 
was a little above Rock island, near where a small stream enters the Connecticut in a 
meadow on the old Patterson farm. This fishing right was once owned by Jesse Lee and 
five others. About the year 1785 this company caught in two days 75 bushels of fish. 
Another company owned the fishing place at the foot of Stebbins's island (formerly Clary's). 
The mouths of all the small brooks in this neigborhood, and the narrow pass at Elmer's 
island, were famous places for ipearing laimon. This was commonly done at night. A 
flaming torch was set in the bow of a canoe in which were two men, one ro steer. They 
floated u,uietly down with the current, and the spear-man struck the fish as they were at- 
tracted to or blinded by the light." — Letter of J Jin Stebbins, Esj., of fcrnort, dated April 

«4i '«73- 

34 History of Nortbfield. 

the different clans are accurately stated in the deeds of sale given to 
the whites, and can be more satisfactorily explained when we come 
to the consideration of those deeds in the next chapter. But there 
are other boundaries which are more or less uncertain j there are 
particular family possessions that are difficult to be defined and lo- 
cated. And there are family affinities and distinctions, depending on 
these boundaries, which can be only approximately determined. In 
numerous instances we can go upon a given spot, and say without 
hesitation, 'here a cluster of families of Red men lived for successive 
generations ; this spot was their rightful home ; these heapsof st ones 
marked their tent-places — those mounds mark their graves.' But 
we are unable to tell whether the occupants were Squakheags or 
Pacomptocks, and whether this or that little stream marks the limits 
of ownership. 

But of one thing there is no doubt — the whole valley of the Con- 
necticut, from Pasquamscut falls to Wanasquatok brook, was dotted 
with villages and family sites. Nearly every prominent bluff which 
had the accessories of convenient water, a dry and protected spot for 
erecting tents, an easily tilled and productive planting-field, and an 
eminence readily defensible for a look-out and fort, contains the 
unmistakable evidences of a longer or shorter residence by the natives. 
And this is especially true of all points where there are falls upon a 
cool brook a little way back from the river — as the foot of such falls 
afforded them sure fishing-ground. 

The signs relied on to determine the site of an Indian village, are : 
i. The presence of large quantities of domestic utensils, such as stone 
pestles, kettles, knives and hoes. 2. Heaps of roundish stones bear- 
ing evidence of the alternate action of fire and water, and covered 
with recently formed mould. Before the introduction of metal ket- 
tles, these stones were used to heat water, by being thrown red-hot 
into their wooden troughs. A heap of them was kept under their 
fire to be ready against emergency. And being cumbersome to 
transport, the heap was left in place, when they removed to a new 
location. 3. The remains of granaries or under-ground barns. These 
Indian granaries were of two classes, one large, the other small. Both 
were of similar construction, i. e., circular excavations, about five 
feet in depth. The larger ones were from twelve to sixteen feet 
across, while the small ones were only three to five feet in diameter. 
They were commonly dug in the sloping sides of a knoll or bank, to 
secure dryness, and the better to shed rain. A considerable number 
were set close together, in order that they might be protected from 
bears and other enemies by a picket. Some small ones have been - 

The River Indians. 35 

found, carefully lined with clay. When filled with corn (on the ear), 
or dried fish, or nuts, they were covered with poles, and long grass, 
or brush and sods. 4. A burial place. This was always convenient 
to their dwellings. A single grave may denote accidental death ; but 
a cluster of graves unerringly points to a cluster of wigwams. 5. A 
pile of stone chips, where their arrow and *spear-heads were fashioned. 
6. A place for a planting-field, and for a fort. A village of 150 
souls would ordinarily have a field of from 12 to 16 acres, which the 
squaws annually planted with corn and pumpkins. After the Eng- 
lish introduced beans from the old country, the natives cultivated 
them to some extent. 

As will naturally occur to the reader, these indications are of a 
class by themselves, and are wholly independent of traditions. They 
are readily traced, and are more reliable than tradition. Many of 
them cannot be imitated ; and no motives can be imagined for a 
counterfeit. All of them were in existence within the memory of 
men now living ; most of them are plain to be seen at the present 

An Indian village of considerable size stood at the southerly end of 
the town, on the falls of Four-mile brook. The main part appears 
to have been built on the north bank of the brook, and extended 
from above the falls to its junction with the Connecticut. In Rufus 
Stratton's boyhood (b. Sept. 12, 1789), things remained much as the 
Indians left them. Their granaries — wigwams, he called them — on 
the slope directly across the brook from the lower saw-mill, were 
then large holes, 12 feet across, and with the sides caved in but 
little. No one had meddled with them, partly because the sloping 
bank was of no special use, and partly because everybody had an 
undefined dread of the old wigwams. The road then ran through the 
mill-yard close by the bank, and right in sight of the holes ; and as 
young Stratton drove the cows to pasture, he would " race them by " 
this spot, for fear of seeing Indian ghosts. When, later, the field 
where the village stood was plowed, the boys used to pick up the 
hatchets and throw them at objects for sport ; and gouges and spear 
and arrow-heads were so plenty that no one thought them worth the 
trouble of picking up. The piles of round stones which marked the 
sites of dwellings, were looked upon only as the plague of the plow 
and harrow. As late as 1856, when Mr. Lyman Gilbert, the present 
owner, plowed this field, he found, just across the brook from his 
barn, a heap of arrow-heads and chips, plainly indicating a native 
work-shop. He also turned up, near where the granaries were, a 
couple of stone hoes having the withe handles still on. Scattered over 

3 6 History of Nortbfield. 

the field were broken aukoofa (soap-stone kettles) ; pieces of kettles 
made of clay and burnt, the outside covered with rude figures ; x 
gouges, burnishing stones, etc. The planting-field appears to have 
been near the river, now in part taken up by the rail-road cut, as the 
remains of several granaries are still seen in the adjacent meadowhill. 
The existence of the fire-stained stone heaps, and numerous 
skeletons turned up on the plain below the brook, conclusively show 
that a large clan made this region their home. 

There is an egg-shaped blufF, a half-mile below, on Pembroke- 
grant brook, known as Fort hill, which may have been fortified 
by them ; or they may have built a fort on the height of land 40 
rods north of the falls. But neither was a strong position. 

No mention of an Indian settlement here has been found in the 
early records. And the probability is that it was abandoned before 
the whites came to this part of the valley. All the relics and tools 
and other remains indicate an early occupancy. Iron utensils have 
not been found, to show evidence of traffic with the English. 

This tract was not purchased by the white settlers, as were the 
lands further up the river. But this fact may not be sufficient proof 
for or against a cotemporaneous occupation. According to the 
declaration of William Clarke in 1685 (see his Petition of that date), 
the lands hereabouts were not of a character to attract settlers, being 
1 00 broken, and without extensive natural grass meadows. Alto- 
gether, the preponderance of evidence favors the conclusion of the 
abandonment of the place by the Indians prior to any discovery of 
the territory by the English. 

Passing to the north, we come to the sites of two important In- 
dian villages, situated on opposite sides of the river. The one on 
the west side is known as Natanis. It was built partly on Grass hill 
and partly on the high bluffs westerly of Bennett's meadow. The 
remains of granaries, and the usual relics, and some skeletons, have 
been found near the river, a little way below the mouth of Bennett's 
brook. Three-fourths of a mile to the north west, on the Holton 
farm, were still more remarkable remains. Stone chips were found 
" by the bushel ;" aukooks, pestles, and household utensils abounded. 
One of the Indian workshops was situated nearly east of the old 
Holton homestead, on the blufF next the meadow. And on the ex- 
treme point of this bluff, just below where the southerly branch 
unites with the main stream of Bennett's brook, are several small 

■ " The pots they seethe their food in, which were heretofore and yet are in use amongst 
some of the tribes, are made of clay or earth, almost in the form of an egg with the top 
taken off. The clay they are made of is very scarce and dear."— Goo&n'i Hist. Callectiom, 

The River Indians. 37 


but well defined granaries. Fifty rods north west of the present 
house of Jona. P. Holton, on the brow of the hill where the high 
plain skirts the brook, are the remains of 12 large granaries, the 
largest about 7 feet in depth. Fifty years ago, some of the larger of 
these excavations were not less than 20 feet in diameter and 10 to 12 
feet deep ; but they are now partially (some of them completely) 
filled in by successive plowings. Two of them are on the slope of 
the hill ; 6 of them are but a few feet back ; and jhe others are 
scattered along a space of 5 or 6 rods. The family tradition is, that 
they were deer traps ; but their peculiar location, and exact resem- 
blance to the circular excavations, . heretofore described, leave no 
room to doubt that they were huge granaries, used by the natives for 
storing corn. The main fort of the tribe must have been situated at 
the angular point of this bluff, 20 rods to the eastward ; and the 
granaries were placed handy to the fort. The plain back, as well as 
the next terrace towards the meadow, were favorable spots for plant- 
ing-fields. And on this lower terrace, was one of their burying 
places. When plowing down the bank, some years ago, just north 
of J. P. Holton's house, to lessen the grade of the road, a skeleton 
was discovered, buried in a sitting posture ; and on digging to the 
bottom of the grave, there were found a pipe, some wampum, a 
copper tomahawk, and a rude copper spoon. 

Signs of Indian lodges are found all around Bennett's meadow ; 
and the fort on Philip's hill was in all probability once a part of a 
regular system of defences. 

Taking these well defined remains in connection with attested facts 
of the early records, and the Indian deeds, the evidence is clear and 
conclusive, that the high plateau to the west of Bennett's meadow 
was the residence of Souanaett, a Pacomptock chieftain, who owned 
this part of the country. At the date of the first settlement of 
Northfield, it was known as Massapetot's land, from the chieftain 
who then held it, and who is elsewhere mentioned as a Pacomptock 
sachem and warrior. Sept. 9, 1673, Asogoa, the daughter of Souana- 
ett, Massapetot, and others, sold this part of the Indian possessions, 
including Bennett's meadow, to parties from Northampton, who in 
turn sold to the Northfield grantees. (See next chapter). 

Squenatock. — The Indian village situated on the falls of this 
name, opposite Natanis, and near the junction of Miller's brook with 
Saw-mill brook — has a special interest to us, not only from its size 
and defined limits, but because our written records cover the last period 
of its history ; and because, like its neighbor opposite, it came into 

38 History of Northfield. 

possession of our fathers by purchase. And this was the point where 
the first white settlers began a plantation. The chieftain of this large 
clan was Massemet. It was with him and his under-chief Pam- 
mook, or Pompmohock, as he is more often called, that a bargain 
for land was made by Joseph Parsons and his company of explorers 
from Northampton, in the spring of 1671, which transaction, in all 
its details will be given in the next chapter. 

Massemet's land extended from Merriman's brook to Coassock, 
or Mill brook, and took in a large tract on the west side of the river 
north of Bennett's meadow. He sold only that portion which lies 
between Mill brook and the Squenatock falls, as its north and south 
bounds, and extends out six miles on either side of the Connecticut. 

The village was built in two parts, separated by the brook's. The 
southern cluster of wigwams occupied the largest part of Beers's 
plain ; the other part was located north of the falls, covering the 
higher ridge of the blur? as far as the north line of the Zechariah 
Field home-lot. 

The lower planting-field was on Cow. plain ; the upper one on the 
back side of the original Janes home-lots, now known as the Dr. 
Mattoon and Joshua Lyman lots. And this division of the clan may 
have cultivated a patch on Great meadow. 

Their fort was built on the high bluff east of the Janes mill-site, 
between the two brooks. This was an easily defensible position, and 
commanded a view of the whole region. And in case of an enemy's 
approach from either direction, it was only the work of an hour to 
strike their bark covered tents, and remove to this stronghold. 

One of their work-shops was on the east side of Beers's plain, 
nearly opposite the homestead of Thomas J. Field. Large piles of 
stone chips were found here a half-century ago. 

The granaries of the lower village were in the slopes on both sides 
of Beers's plain. The major part of such as were not obliterated till 
within the memory of men now living, were on the easterly side of 
the plain, and were of the larger sort. 1 

The upper family had their granaries in the meadow hill, near their 
corn field. A capacious one, not less than 16 feet in diameter, was 
preserved rill a comparatively recent date. It was on the brow of the 
hill, near the south line of the Zechariah Field home-lot. The soil 
being rather tenacious it retained its outlines perfectly. Being some- 
what in the way, it was filled in by Mr. Timothy Field. 

1 C-ipc. Ira Cuy state* that he could plainly distinguish the partially rilled holes or' 8 or 10 
0/ thoe barn», 50 years ago. They were about 12 feet across, and were ranged in an irre- 
gular row. 

The River Indians. 39 

The principal tribal burial place, below the brook, was at the 

north-west corner of Beers's plain. Fifty years ago, when the sward 
was destroyed and the plow began to run deeper, and the winds blew 
off the soil, the half-acre here was found to be full of bones. Whole 
and broken skeletons appeared ; and the evidences that this spot had 
been the receptacle of the dead of successive generations were abund- 
ant. The frequent disturbance of the soil for interments was plainly 
one cause of its slight resistance of the wind. There was also a 
burying-ground on the east L central part of the plain, where there is a 
little knoll near the site of the barns. 

The families living north of the falls buried their dead on the high 
points of land where the Elmer house now stands, and just back of. 
the site of the Field fort. In leveling both these spots, the earth at 
the depth of a few feet was largely composed of human remains. 

Scattered single graves, and what may be supposed to have been 
a family burial place, occur in all this neighborhood. And as the 
Indian buried his dead close beside his dwelling, a deposit of bones 
clearly marks a wigwam or village-site. 

A careful review of all the facts collected on this subject by the 
writers of this volume, shows that the place and mode of burying 
their dead by the Squakheags has an important significance. Ordi- 
narily the body was put in a shallow grave, not over 3 feet in depth, 
and was laid at full length. Some have been found lying on the right 
side, and it is believed that this was a common practice with this tribe. 
Nothing visible marked the site of such graves. In the case of chiefs, 
the grave was dug about 5 feet deep, and the body placed in a sitting 

Enough graves have been opened to make it reasonably certain 
that both males and females of high rank were buried in an upright 
posture — the chieftain with a pile of stones above his head, and 
the others with only a raised mound of earth. 1 

This helps to determine the location of the chief's wigwam. In 
leveling off the ridge in the rear of the old Field fort, which was done 
in a hurry and without much observation, at least one skeleton, of 
the many brought to light, was observed in an upright position ; and 
a circular pile of flat stones carefully laid in clay mortar, was struck 
by the spade and removed for a couple of feet in depth, when the 
search was given up, as those below were out of the way of the plow. 
The exact resemblance of this pile to others that have been carefully 

• To show the consideration paid to females of lank by the River Indians, it may be stated 
that the wives and daughters of chiefs were accustomed to sign the deeds, when land was 
sold to the whites ; and peculiar honor was accorded to them in the rites of burial. 

40 History of Northfield. 

taken up, and the body beneath examined, leaves little room to doubt 
that this height of- land was a chief's home — perhaps Massemet's 
family site. 

Coassock. — The domain of Massemet extended up to a line run- 
ning east and west through the falls on Mill brook. A cluster of 
wigwams appears to have been placed to the south and west of the 
falls, reaching down to the steep hill of the first terrace. Cultivation 
has materially altered the face of things here ; and these remains 
are not easily traced. Tradition locates their burial place on the flat 
where the old mill-house, at the lower privilege, stood. 

There is good evidence that a family of high rank once lived on 
the west side of the river, just north of the mouth of Moose-plain 
brook. When the bank was excavated to make a road to the Horse- 
boat ferry, fifty years ago, a full sized skeleton in good preservation, 
was uncovered. Some years later three more skeletons were found 
near the same spot, and close together. These bodies were all buried 
in a sitting posture, facing the east, and were covered not more than 
three feet deep. This site was on Massemet's land, and was directly 
opposite Coassock. 

Nawelet's Land. — North of Coassock up to Wanasquatok ( Broad 
brook), the country belonged to the chieftain Nawelet. From the 
size of his possessions and the plain testimony of remains, it is evident 
that this tract was inhabited by a numerous and powerful tribe. Some 
were of gigantic stature — a skeleton measuring 6£ feet having been 
disinterred. They were enterprising and warlike, as is shown by their 
extensive planting fields, and the strength and resources of their main 
fort. Their utensils indicate considerable traffic with the whites. 
And they were undoubtedly the last of the native clans to leave the 
valley. Indeed they are found here in considerable numbers as late 
as 1720, and were then of a character to command the respect of the 
English settlers. 

The date of sale of this extensive tract of country to the^ whites, 
was August 13, 1687. The fact that a large portion of the land had 
been already appropriated by the Northfield planters, is evidence that 
at the period of the First Settlement the tribe was living elsewhere, 
and had become to some extent migratory. 

In the time of their sole occupancy, they had scattered encamp- 
ments ar different points on Pauchaughill. One was near where the 
highway descends to the meadow ; another, and larger one, was around 

The River Indians. 41 

the falls of Pauchaug brook. They also occupied different points on 
Wells's plain above, as is attested by their numerous burial places. 

A village of large size was located west of the river, near the pre- 
sent South Vernon rail road station. On the meadow hill, about 80 
rods northerly of the state line, and near the old Ferry road, on land 
now owned by E. E. Belding Esq., are plainly to be seen the re- 
mains of above 30 Indian granaries. They belong to the small class, 
none of them being over 5 feet in diameter. They occupy a space 
30 X 60 feet, and of course are crowded thickly together. The 
heights here, and still further back of Wells's plain, afforded good 
lookouts and hiding-places ; and the upper parts of Second Moose 
plain were good planting grounds. 

There are signs of wigwams on the knolls and hill-sides, as far up 
as the Patterson farm. A number of large granaries have been found 
on land of Lorenzo Brown Esq. : two over the ridge west of his 
dwelling-house ; two or three about 30 rods north of the house ; and 
a number on the slope of Meadow hill some distance to the eastward. 
The planting-field of these families was probably on the plain east of 
Mr. Brown's house. 

But the chief seat of this tribe was near the Great bend of the 
river. The plains and knolls back of the meadows here afforded 
favorable sites for wigwams, and all the requirements of their mode 
of life. The mouths of the Ashuelot, and of Cold brook and Salmon 
brook, and the islands and rocks adjacent, gave them superior facili- 
ties for catching their favorite salmon in the spring ; and the higher 
meadows, being enriched and mellowed by the annual over-flow, 
were easily tilled, and produced large crops of corn. 

The peculiar advantages of this spot, for a permanent home, were 
plainly apparent to the ancestors of Nawelet. And at a later date, 
when King Philip and Canonchet found themselves in a strait, with 
a multitude of women and children to be defended and fed, no better 
place than this could be found. For there is no doubt that it was 
here — somewhere between Rock island and Pomeroy's island — 
where Mrs. Rowlandson found King Philip and his warriors March 
9, 1676; and that these intervals, which afterwards attracted Capt. 
Stebbins and Ensign Stratton, were the memorable planting-fields of 
that fatal spring. The ohkukes, or stone kettles, and hatchets, and 
pestles, and other tools and utensils for ordinary use, were formerly 
abundant, and are still found, in all this neighborhood ; and both 
upon Clary's island and the mainland, skeletons are common. Two 
skulls were lately turned up on the island — one of them (in 1872) 

42 History of Nortbfield. 

had a hole in the backside as large as an ounce ball would make. 
The teeth were sound and white. "August 17, 1869, as Mr. 
George M. Lee was digging up stumps and leveling the land on his 
farm, about four rods from the steep bank and west of the brook, he 
had occasion to plow two furrows deep, and struck a loose flat stone. 
As it evidently did not belong there, his curiosity was excited, and 
on lifting it up he found others under it. With the aid of a shovel 
he dug up 3 or 4 bushels of small flattish stones laid round in regular 
order in a circle 18 inches or 2 feet in diameter. Beneath the stones, 
at the depth of 4.V feet, he found the remains of a large skeleton in a 
sitting posture, facing the north. 1 The grave had evidently been 
dug perpendicular for its full depth on the south end, against which 
the back was placed, as the prints on the earth indicated ; but from 
the bottom an excavation was made horizontally in which the feet 
and legs were thrust. The large bones were entire, but crumbled 
soon on being exposed to the air." [Letter of John Stebbins). This 
was probably the grave of a high chieftain. 

There is no distinct tradition of any Indian fort on the west side 
of the river near this location ; though there are several eminences 
well suited for such defences. If they had forts here, it is probable 
that they were abandoned early ; and that, as their most formidable 
enemy, the Mohawks, lived to the west, the tribe, for obvious 
reasons, built, later, their principal defensive works on the east side. 

The tradition in regard to Fort Hill, (now in Hinsdale, N. H., 
though on the original Northfield purchase) as an Indian fortification 
and abiding-place, is familiar to all. It was naturally a position of 
great strength, and had all the requisites of a fort, except ready ac- 
cess to water. It is a steep bluff or point of the high plain, lying at 
the neck of the pear-shaped promontory known as Cooper's Point, 
and elevated about 150 feet above low water mark, and nearly roo 
feet above the terrace which forms the present river-bank. In the 
olden time when the bed of the river was 50 feet higher than at pre- 
sent, the water covered what is known as the Point, and swept round 
the foot of Fort Hill. This old river-bottom, now the high bank, 
extends with varying width on three sides of the hill. 

This was evidently the Indians 1 strong-bold. The spot where the 
fort stood commands a view (or did when the whole region was bare 
of trees, as was the case in Nawelet's day) of the interval lands to 

1 It was a custom of the earliest Erse or Irish people, to bury their chief warriors facing 
the point where the enemy were expected to make an attack — in the belief that the dead 
:hief still had power to resist his enemies. Did such a belief exist among our Indians — as 
his chief was *ci facing the fort , which was the main defensive reliance of the tribe ? 

The River Indians. 43 

the north for 1^ miles, and as far to the south — embracing Pome- 
roy's, Clary's and Elmer's islands, the fishing-places, and the planting- 
fitlds on either side of the river. The necessity for water was 
provided for, by building a covered way, underground, down the 
easterly side, to a living spring which is just at the foot of the hill. 
A wide trench was cut across the narrow neck of the hill, to serve 
as a defence from attacks from the plain back. Henry Hooker Esq., 
grandson of Rev. Bunker Gay, remembers when this trench was only 
partially filled, being then over 4 feet in depth. The site of the fort 
includes about one acre of land. 

All the traditions speak of strong defensive works here. It is said 
that heavy logs were caught, in the spring freshet, and rolled to the 
top of the hill, where they were bound by withes to stakes, ready to be 
tumbled down upon the ranks of assailants. And tradition and the 
records agree, that a fierce and sanguinary battle was fought here, 
when the Mohawks made their famous incursion in 1663 or 4. A 
hundred years later, when the Rev. Bunker Gay was settled as pastor 
of the church in Hinsdale, he found, when plowing upon his farm, 
which included the fort ground, three kettles, one large and two small, 
carefully buried, one with some corn still adhering to the inside ; and 
he turned up many Indian skeletons on the plain near the old cemetery. 
Stone tools and weapons were found in abundance in the fields around. 

There has existed an indistinct tradition that an Indian fort once 
stood at the mouth of the Ashuelot, on the Lieut. Elihu Stebbins 
farm. A careful examination of the location by the writers, disclosed 
traces of remarkable Indian remains, and the utensils and implements 
found only near their abiding-places. The truncated hill — which 
evidently was once washed on the north by the Ashuelot, and on the 
west by the united rivers — rises about 60 feet above the ordinary 
water level, and overlooks the valley to some distance below Pome- 
roy's island, and up to Clary's island, and the old Fort Hill. On the 
front the sides are steep ; and a ravine cut it ofF from the low hills to 
the east, and extended round to the meadow on the south. A spring, 
easily accessible, comes out at the foot of the hill on the north. Tillage 
has essentially modified the appearance of the surface, and the ravine 
in the rear. The most interesting works now visible are 33 granaries, 
situated on the southwesterly side. They occupy an ofF-set, just above 
the line of high water,and are included in a space of 90x45 feet. They 
vary in size, from 3 to 5 and 7 feet in diameter, and as the land has 
been kept in grass the outlines are perfectly preserved. Some of these 
basin-like depressions are now from 12 to 15 inches deep. On open- 
ing one, it was found to be about 4! feet deep, and lined with clay. 

44 History of Northfield. 

Since the above was written, a communication has been received 
from John M. Stebbins Esq., who was born upon the place. He 
states that these granaries were much deeper and more distinct 35 
years ago than now. He adds — " Directly west of the old barn, on 
my father's farm, on the same level with the house, and in the angle 
made by the fence as now built, the barn, and the brow of the hill, 
there were in 1840, many small mounds, which my grandmother said 
were Indian graves. The land had never been plowed, except by the 
first settler, and the mounds were readily traced, though the surface 
was tolerably smooth. Two of us boys mustered courage one day, 
and carefully moved the turf from one of the mounds, and digging 
down not more than four feet struck a skull, the very thing we were 
digging for. We found nearly the whole skeleton — in a sitting 
posture — some parts considerably decayed, but the skull was in good 
condition, and the teeth were large and perfect. A physician who 
examined it pronounced it to be the skeleton of a young woman." 

The mounds were only a short distance to the south-east of the 
granaries and fort. 

The fact is handed down in the Stebbins family — who have held 
the property for three or four generations — that Peter ( or John ) 
Evens, who removed hither from Northfield street in 1 741, planted 
an orchard in this old burial-ground ; and that the Indians — during 
the wars that followed — repeatedly destroyed the trees. This would 
show that a peculiar sacredness was attached by the natives to this 
spot ; and the raised mounds, and the sitting posture of the body 
exhumed, indicate the burial-place of a chieftain's family. 1 And it is 
a point of interest, to be noticed in this connection, that among the 
Indian relics found in the soil on this farm, weapons and ornaments 
predominate. Only last year (1872) a beautifully polished stone 
pendant, something in the shape of a carpenter's plummet, and about 
the size of a pullet's egg, was found here. 

About 80 rods below this cluster of mounds, is another wigwam 
site. When the rail-road was constructed a few years since, as the 
workmen were excavating a cut, the earth caved in, and "disclosed 13 
skeletons lying close together. One of them indicated a man 6^- 
feet in height. 

Pauchaug. — This famous meadow has been already noticed ; but 
a few words in addition are in place here. From documents written 

' It has been a disputed point whether this mode of burial indicated rank, or was evidence 
that such graves were those of another tribe. The fact that these graves were so jealously 
guarded by the remnant of the Squakheags, it pretty conclusive proof in favor of high rank. 

The River Indians. 45 

by the Committee who were appointed by the General court to lay 
out the plantation, it appears that the name was not applied by the 
natives to the meadow as a whole ; but either to some particular 
spot on or near this piece of interval, or to some public use to which 
it was devoted. According to Roger Williams (Key^ p. 145), the 
Indian word pauchauog signifies, they are playing or dancing. And 
from the peculiar conformation of the land near where the brook de- 
scends from the plain, it is believed that one of the smooth knolls in 
this part of the meadow was the place where the two clans of Squak- 
heags were accustomed to meet for their public games. 

It was quite common among all the tribes, in time of peace, for 
two or more friendly towns to meet for competitive trials of skill and 
strength. They had several kinds of games. Roger Williams speaks 
of two of their principal amusements, viz., arbor-playing, and long- 
house-playing. For the former they made u an arbor of long poles 
set in the earth, four square, sixteen or twenty feet high, on which 
they hang great store of their stringed money, which one town 
stakes against another. Two persons, one from each town, are 
chosen to throw the dice, with great shouting and solemnity, and 
the winner takes the stake. In the latter game, they set up a house 
sometimes 200 feet long upon a plain, where the men and women 
gather by thousands. The players were the chief men of the tribe ; 
and the play consisted mainly of dancing in the long house. When 
one succeeded in gaining special applause, he would distribute gifts of 
wampum, coats and knives among the multitude." 

Besides these, "they have great meetings for foot-ball playing, 
early in summer, town against town, upon some shore free from 
stones, or some soft heathier plot, because of their naked feet, at 
which they have great stakings, but seldom quarrel." 

A favorite game with the Squakheags was wrestling, in which they 
greatly prided themselves. This was largely practiced by them since 
the settling of the whites ; and in some instances friendly trials of 
strength and prowess took place between the reds and the whites. 
Capt. Joseph Stebbins was more than a match for his Indian rivals ; 
and so was one of the Strattons, as family legends tell. Quoits was 
a well known game with the natives, in which they exhibited great 
aptness. Their habit of striking with the club and spear, and the 
strength of their right arm enabled them to pitch the stone to an im- 
mense distance and with precision of aim. 

Food of the Indians. — The natives of our valley lived mostly 
on ground-nuts, chestnuts, corn, pumpkins, the flesh of animals, and 

46 History of Northfield. 

fish. 1 They had kettles made of soapstone, in which to boil vegeta- 
tables and meats, and they contrived a kind of spit, on which to roast 
large pieces of meat. Fish were cooked just as they were taken from 
the water ; birds were plucked, but not cleansed ; and small animals 
were roasted whole, the entrails being especially esteemed. They 
took particular pains to protect chestnut groves from their annual 
fires ; and there were several large tracts covered with fine bearing 
trees when the whites first came hither. The Chestnut mountains, 
and Chestnut plain, lying to the west of Hatfield, are mentioned in 
the earliest records. There were also chestnut mountains to the east- 
ward of Northfield. Corn was parched and beaten fine ; and some- 
times was made into balls with suet. Thus prepared it was called 
nokake, and was their chief dependence in war expeditions. The raw 
grain was also pounded into coarse meal, and made into samp. After the 
introduction of beans by the English, they were raised by the Indians to 
some extent, and were boiled with green corn for summer use. Pumpkins 
were cut in strips and dried in the sun, after the manner of our fore-mo- 
thers, who borrowed this art from the natives. Fish when freshly caught 
were usually broiled on the coals. Many were split and dried in the 
smoke and stored. They ate the flesh of most kinds of animals and birds. 
This was boiled or roasted, and eaten without salt. It is not known 
that they dried and stored meats. They were wonderfully expert in 
killing game with arrows, and in capturing both larger and smaller 
sorts by means of drive-ways, and in rude traps and yank-ups. The 
latter was nothing more than a stout white oak or hickory staddle, 
bent over and fastened to a notch cut in another tree. The animal, 
when caught in the snare at the end, by struggling would loosen the 
catch, and the staddle would spring upright, with the game dangling 
in the air. Esq. Seth Field's old mare once strayed into the woods 
and got into a trap of this kind set for deer. The 'squire was 
astounded when an Indian came running breathless to tell him that 
" his squaw-horse was caught in a yank-up !" 

The Indians' time for planting corn, was when the leaves of the 
white oak were grown as big as a squirrel's paw. Whoever has 
watched the unfolding bud of this tree, has noticed, at a certain stage, 
the striking resemblance between the leaf and the paw of a red 

Tobacco.- -According to Roger Williams, this plant was cultivated 

1 " Their chief and commonest food (in the spring of the year) was ground-nuts ; they 
j1»o eat nuts, and acorns, lurty-choaks, lily roots, ground beans, and several other weeds 
and roots that I know not." — Mrs. Rw.ulamlion. 

'The River Indians. 47 

to a considerable extent by the natives. They called it Ottomauck. 
It was used for smoking, and one kind was steeped, and the decoction 
drank. It was regarded as a sacred weed, to be cultivated and used 
only by the braves. The men planted, tended, and cured this crop ; 
(every other crop was planted and gathered and stored by the squaws) 
and smoked it. Women were not allowed to smoke ; and it was 
considered odious for a boy to take the pipe, till he had made himself 
a name, and was entitled to sit in the council. 

How early it became fashionable for Indian women to use tobacco, 
we are not informed. But in March, 1676, Mrs. Rowlandson writes: 
" I went to see King Philip ; he bid me come in, and sit down ; 
and asked me if I would smoke it ? (a usual compliment now a days 
among saints and sinners) but this no way suited me. I remember 
with shame, how formerly, when I had taken two or three pipes, I 
was presently ready for another; such a bewitching thing it is." 

Maple Sugar. — The Indians knew how to make sugar from the 
sap of the maple tree ; though it is believed they took no pains to 
preserve this species — as they did the chestnut — and consequently 
the only large trees which escaped their fires were in the wet ravines, 
A lot of these old maples stood on land owned by Moses Field, south 
and west of Roman T. Sugar was made here by the natives before 
the settlement of 17 14, and in the intervals of peace down to the old 
French war. They cut boxes in the trunk from which to gather the 
sap ; the marks of which were visible in some trees standing there in 

Religion. — The Indians were firm believers in a good and an 
evil Spirit, both of whom had an important agency in controlling 
human life and destiny. It is not known that they had any form of 
worship, for the good Spirit ; but there was in every tribe a class of 
conjurers who practiced a sort of necromancy or mystic rites, with a 
view to propitiate the evil Spirit. In the ordinary affairs of life they 
seem to have felt competent to take care of themselves. But it was 
common before starting on any important expedition to hold powow y 
which, according to the minute description of the ceremonies given 
by Mrs. Rowlandson, had the double purpose of gaining the good 
will of the evi 1 one, and arousing the courage of the warriors. Two 
medicine men had charge of the rites, which were of the nature of 
incantations, interspersed with wild harangue — the mystic to awe, 
and the eloquence to inspire. And when the auguries were all favor- 

48 History of Nortbfieid. 

able, they went forth with an assurance of success, which, of itself, was 
an important element of success. 

Brush mountain, which in their language would be called Misb- 
om-assek — from its being the resort of a numerous colony of rattle- 
snakes — was held in superstitious veneration by the Squakheags. 
They believed that Hobamok, the evil Spirit, dwelt inside the mountain, 
and that the fissures in the rocks above Cold spring, where the snakes 
denned, were the holes through which he sent forth his hot breath 
and melted the snow, and made any one faint who dared to inhale the 
poisonous air. They had a tradition that he once in anger bellowed 
forth from this hiding-place and shook the earth ! Partly from dread 
of the evil Spirit, and partly from fear of the rattlesnakes, the Indians 
shunned the Gulf, and the adjacent mountain sides. 


First Visits of the Engush to Squakheag — Purchase of the Territory — 
Deeds — What became of the Indians. 

T the date when our narrative opens, the valley here was 
not in its primeval condition. The whole face of nature 
bore the marks of a long occupancy by- the Savages. 
But it was devastation rather than improvement. The 
Indians were accustomed to burn over the meadows and upland 
woods annually, after the fall of the leaves in autumn, by which the 
intervals were kept clean, and any new growth of brush and trees 
was destroyed. One by one the old trees would succumb to the 
flames, so that the uplands and hills were comparatively bare. Both 
timber and accessible fire-wood were scarce when the whites first 
settled. The wet swamps alone were heavily wooded. Men on 
horseback found little difficulty in crossing the dry plains in any di- 
rection. The object of the annual burning evidently was to keep 
the country open for travel and hunting. And the swamps and ra- 
vines, which would be flooded by the fall rains at the time of the fires, 
afforded a covert for many kinds of game. 

But game was at this date becoming scarce. Stimulated by the 
offers of Mr. Pynchon, who settled at Agawam in 1636, beaver, and 
otter, and the more valuable fur-bearing animals, had 
been effectually thinned out. 1 Wolves and wild cats 
were less plenty than a half century later, after the 
custom of annually burning the forests had ceased. 
Deer were frightened away by the same cause, and 
were abundant only in the summer and early fall. And 
except groundnuts, fish and corn, the food of the natives had become 
precarious. The salmon and shad, which were then superabundant, 



1 As appears from their account books, the Pynchons packed and sent to England, between 
1652 and 1674, 15,880 beaver skins, weighing over 23000 lbs. worth 8 shillings sterling 
per pound. In the same time they exported 700 otter skins, 1000 muskrat, and large 
quantities of fox, coon, marten, fisher, mink and wild cat skins. They also collected 426 moose 
skins, which weighed on an average 20 lbs. each. Deer skins were largely used for clothing 
both by the natives and whites. 


50 History of Nortbfieid. 

were captured on their passage up the river in May and June, when 
they had high living : some were split and smoke-dried, and stored in 
their underground barns ; but the inherent laziness and pride of the 
Red man prevented any system of providence for the future. His 
squaw was sure to plant her patch of corn and pumpkins, and he 
trusted to prowess and luck for the rest. 

Indian Paths — which were narrow trails worn by the feet in 
marching single file — crossed the country in various directions. One 
connected Squakheag and Pacomptock ; and probably one extended 
south to Hadley. It is certain that there was a well worn trail from 
Squakheag to Paquayag (Athol), and thence to Wenimisset and 
Quaboag (Brookiield). It was by striking this trail, and following 
it up, that the four adventurers were led to the discovery of Masse- 
met's country. This trail left the Indian village on Beers's plain, 
followed up the stream north of Beers's mountain and over the north 
part of Crag, where is a slight depression, crossed Great swamp not 
far from the present line of the highway, and so went by a direct route 
to near the mouth of West or Cheney's brook. 

First Visit of the English, 1669. — No record has been 
found of an exploration of the Connecticut valley north of Pasquam- 
scut falls earlier than 1669. In May of this year, a committee, ap- 
pointed by the General court, consisting of Capt. Daniel Gookin, 
Mr. Daniel Henchman, Capt. Thomas Prentice and Left. Richard 
Beers, 1 who had been impowered " to lay out a new plantation near 
Quinsigamond pond " (Worcester), proceeded to the north-westward 
to view the country. In a postscript to their report, 2 they say : " The 
Committee having in their journey discovered two other places be- 
yond this (Quinsigamond) to the westward, that will make two or 
three towns — the one place called Pamaquesicke, lying upon the head 
of Chekaby river, the other place called Suckquakege upon Connec- 
ticut River : we desire the Court will order that these places be re- 
served to make towns, the better to strengthen those inland parts, 
and y e laying out of particular grants prohibited in the said places." 
The court approved of the committee's return, and ordered " that the 
lands mentioned to be reserved for public use for two or three towns, 
be reserved for those ends." 

1 Ic is a coincidence worthy of' record that this man, who was among the first to see this 
beautiful and fertile tract, should be one of the first white men — perhaps the very first — to 
be buried in its soil. And it is not unlikely that his grave is very near the spot whence he 
caught a first look of the site of the town. 

a Mass. Records, vol. iv, pt. II, p. 4.36. 

Squakbeag. 5 1 

1670. — The next year, a party from Northampton, consisting as 
near as can be ascertained, of Joseph Parsons Sen., Mr. William 
Janes, George Alexander and Micah Mudge, " went upon discovery" 
of the place, examined the location with care, and ascertained that 
the native claimants were ready and anxious to sell the tract. 

As the best lands in this region were becoming rapidly absorbed by 
grantees and settlers from the Bay, and as the people of Northampton 
and Hadley were already ** straitened for room " ( ! ), little time was 
lost in bargaining for the new country. Early in the spring of 167 1, 
the persons above mentioned, with Caleb Pomeroy and perhaps others, 
went up and consummated the purchase. The deed conveyed to 
Joseph Parsons Sen. " for a valuable consideration, a tract of land 
lying on both sides of the Great River, which is thus bounded — The 
Northerly end at Coassock, the Southerly end on the east side of the 
Great River down to Quanatock, at southerly end on the west side 
of the Great River butting against Masapetot's land, and so running 
six miles into the woods on both sides of the River." This deed was 
signed by Massemet, Panoot, Pammook, Nenepownam his squaw, 
Wompely and Nessacoscom. 

The tract here conveyed, covered the original (and present) town- 
plot of Northfield, and contained in all 10,560 acres. It appears 
that full payment was not made at this time, and a mortgage was given 
to the Indians as security for the balance, as is stated in the deed 
bearing date May 24, 1686, where it will also appear that an additional 
sum was paid to satisfy this original claim. This first deed was 
taken before any settlement was attempted. 

The second purchase by the English was made after the plantation 
was begun. It comprised about 3,000 acres of land belonging to a 
Pacomptock sachem, lying wholly on the west side of the river. 
"This deed made the 9th 7th 1673 (Sept. 9, 1673), between Joseph 
Parsons Sen. and William Clarke both of Northampton in the county 
of Hampshire, of the one party, and Asogoa the daughter of Souanaett 
who was the true and proper owner of that parcel of land at Squak- 
heag on the west side of the River called by the Indians Nallaham- 
comgon or Natanas, and Mashepetot, and Kisquando, pampatekemo 
a squaw which is Mashepetot's daughter — these four Indians above 
named on the other party, IVitnesseth, that for and in consideration 
of the sum of two hundred fathoms of wampumpek in hand paid 
by the above said Joseph Parsons and William Clarke, we the 
aforesaid Indians * * have granted and sold * * all that 
parcel of land lying at Squakheag, called by the Indians Nalla- 
hamcomgon, and is bounded with the Great River on the easterly side, 

j 2 History of Northfield. 

on the westerly side a great ledge of hills six miles from the Great 
River, on the southerly to a brook called by the Indians Nallaham- 
comgo [Bennett's brook] and so straight into the woods, on the north 
to [ ] that land that was Massemett's land. * * " This 

-deed was signed by the four Indians, and witnessed by Timothy 
Baker, Sarah Clarke: and the premises were assigned "by Wm. 
Clarke to the inhabitants of Squakheag," June 15, 1675. 

These two tracts comprise the territory of the town during the 
First Settlement. 

After the resettlement of Squakheag in 1685, some difficulty seems 
to have arisen between the proprietors and Massemet, about the pay- 
ment for the land bought of him in 1671. And to remove all cause 
of dissatisfaction and gain a clear title, a new deed was executed, cover- 
ing the same territory. As this new deed contains some curious and 
important facts, which have a peculiar historical value, it is here in- 
serted in full. 

That whereas Mafsemet, Panoot, Pammook, Nenepownam his fquaw, Worn- 
pely and Nefacofcom, that whereas thefe fix Indians on the one party have 
made fale of a parcel of land at Northfield, and Jofeph Parfons Sen. on the 
other party, for a valuable confideration have fold to Jofeph Parfons agent for 
Northfield, a trad of land lying on both fides of the Great River, which is thus 
bounded — the Northerly end at Coafsock, the foutherly end on the eaft fide of 
the Great River down to Quanatock, at foutherly end on the welt fide of the 
Great River butting againft Mafapetot's land, and fo running fix miles into the 
woods on both fides of the Great River, — this trac~l of land above exprefsed 
they have fold, as doth appear both by a deed and a mortgage bearing date in 
the year 1671 ; and in confideration that fome of the Indians have faid that 
they have not had full facisfaiftion for this trad of land ; and Therefore, know 
all men Br these presents, that Micah Mudge Cornelius Merry and John 
Lyman, for the reft of the inhabitants of Northfield, have agreed with the In- 
dians for the further confirmation of this tract of land above exprefsed by giv- 
ing a new deed unto the afore mentioned buyors, upon confideration of twelve 
pounds already received, we the Indians under wrote do acquit and difcharge 
the aforefaid Micah Mudge Cornelius Merry and John Lyman and their heirs 
forever of the above faid fum of twelve pounds : — the names of thofe Indians 
who have received this pay are as folioweth, Mequenichon, Mannufquis, Ma- 
femet, Quankquclup, Couwah, Pompmohock, Colecoph. — It is further agreed 
by the parties above faid that the Indians do further ratify fell and confirm 
alienate and formally pafs over unto Micah Mudge Cornelius Merry and John 
Lyman in behalf of the company, to them and their heirs, adminiftrators and 
executors, all these parcels of land as it is hereafter bounded, viz., The fouth- 
erly end butting upon a brook called Squcnatock and fo running fix miles into 
the woods on each fide of the River, and fo running up to the new fort on the 

Squakbeag. 5 3 

fouth fide of a river which comes into the Great River called Cowas, all which 
is as here bounded, with all the privileges, benefits advantages commodities and 
appurtenances thereon and thereunto belonging, and at the time of the fale 
hereof that the aforementioned Indians were the proper owners of the premifes, 
and that this land is free from all former bargains, fales, right, title, inheritance 
or incumbrance whatsoever ; and that the above faid Micah Mudge Cornelius 
Merry and John Lyman as they were actors in behalf of themfelves and the com- 
pany ; and that they their heirs executors adminiftrators (hall HAVE AND HOLD 
pofsefs and enjoy peaceably and quietly without any moleftation from by through 
or under us or our heirs executors adminiftrators or afsigns or any other claim 
by any other peribn or perfons whatfoever : And further we engage to acknow- 
ledge this to be our adl and deed before authority when called thereunto, and 
what further may be necefsary to confirm this our aft and deed of fale that we 
will readily and cheerfully do it ; — and for the confirmation hereof, the faid 
Mequenichon, Mannufquis, Mafemet, Quankquelup, Couwah, Pompmohock, 
Colecoph have hereunto fet our hands and feals the 24th day of May in the 
year 1686. 

Neuque his mark & feal. 


Signed fealed and delivered in pre- Masemet " " 

fence of Kenew " " 

William Clarke Sen. Woowhenet " " 

Caleb Pumery Chonchquegon " " 

Ebenezer Pumery Whenonkca " " 
Ebenezer Miller 
Benoni Jons 

We that are witnefses faw the fame Indians mentioned in the Deed fet their 
marb hereunto, although their names are not alike fpelled by reafon that it was 
one of the Indians that did write fome of them ; but they did all own their 
names as they are in the Deed and fet to their feals. Memorandum, that there 
was formerly as they acknowledge and own before witnefs, a peaceable pofsefsion 
was given to the agent of Squakeheag, which was Jofeph Parfons Sen. by 
Mafemet and Pompmohock, which were the two Indians which gave the agent 
pofsefsion of this land above exprefsed — as witnefs William Janes and Micah 
Mudge, and Peter Jethro. — George Alexander faw Mafemet and Pompmohock 
give pofsefsion of the land above mentioned to Jofeph Parfons Sen." 1 

1687. — The third and last purchase of land from the Indians was 
made the next year. The tract comprises the larger part of old 
Squakheag, besides a wide strip on both the east and west which was 
not included in the township. This was Nawelet's country, and 
contained not far from 65,000 acres. The deed is dated August 13, 

* Giving possession of land. '* The Indian owners, in token of the premise* gave me a 
handful of the earth in the presence of witnesses." Mass. Archives, cxxix, 160. 

54 History of Northfield. 

1687, running to William Clarke Sen. and John King Sen. agents 
for the proprietors of Northfield. 

To all chriftian people to whom thefe prefents fhall come, Know ye, that 
Nawelet, Gongequa, Afpiambemett, Haddarawanfet, Meganichcha, wee the 
Indians mentioned, and for good confiderarion moving us hereunto, and in 
particular in confideration of the fum of forty five pounds in trade goods all 
ready in hand paid or fecured to fatiffaction, the faid Indians above exprefsed 
doe for themfelves their heirs executors * * give grant bargain and fell, and 
by thefe prefents firmly pafs over a certain parcel of land lying in the bounds of 
Northfield unto William Clarke Sen. and John King Sen. both of Northampton, 
being agents for the proprietors of Northfield, which is bounded as followeth : 
viz. foutherly againft a river called Cowas being on the eaft fide of the Great 
River and foe running dire&ly over the Great River: the northerly fide running 
to a river on the weft fide of the Great River called Wanafcatok, lying twelve 
miles wide fix miles wide on each fide of the Great River ; with all the privileges 
benefits advantages commodities and apurtenances thereon and thereunto be- 
longing * * * 

Witnefles : Signed by Nawelet 

Jonathan Hunt Gongequa 

Preferved Clap Aspiambemet 

Wm. Clarke Jun. Haddarawansett 

Peter Jethro 1 Mecamchcha 

Jofeph Atherton 
Ifaac Chauncey 

Having thus disposed of their heritage, without reservation, the 
inquiry naturally arises, What became of the Indians ? Although it 
will anticipate somewhat the succession of events, an answer in out- 
line will be given. 

It seems to have been understood by the natives, that the coming 
in of the whites would be a protection to them against their old ene- 
mies the Mohawks ; and though our Indians made no reservations 
of rights, they returned at their pleasure to their old quarters, and 
reset their wigwams. They were not much in the way of the first 
planters, and were entirely friendly, and brought in peltry for barter ; 
and it is the pretty authentic tradition that our people made a " good 
thing " of the traffic. A knife, or a kettle, or a gun, or a pint of 
rum — though forbidden by law to be sold to the natives — would 
command a most valuable consideration in furs and skins. 

This first period of friendly intercourse was, however, very brief. 

' Peter Jethro was an Indian of the Naticlc tribe, whose father lived on Nobscut hill in 
Framingham. He was pretty well educated and often acted as scribe in preparing and ex- 
ecuting deeds of Indian lands. 

Squakheag. cc 

The Indians suddenly disappeared about the time of the Brookfield 
fight (Aug. 2, 1675). There are reasons for believing that they went 
to Paquayag, and perhaps to Wenimisset, 1 which was a common ren- 
dezvous of the savages at this time. King Philip, after he came into 
this neighborhood, made efforts to unite all these clans in his interest. 
And though he was not present at any encounter with the whites, it 
is evident that his influence was a stimulant. There were among 
our River Indians several survivors of the expedition against Uncas 
in 1657, and the later expedition against the Mohawks, who were 
capable of planning and executing the boldest raids ; and in whom 
enough of the old fire still slumbered, to make them ambitious of the 
glory of success. 

There is little doubt that the party who attacked this town Sept. 
2d, and fought Capt. Beers two days afterwards, were former resi- 
dents, who had left their women -and children somewhere to the 
eastward. 3 

After the abandonment of Squakheag by the settlers, the Indians 
returned in a body, and made this their head-quarters for the re- 
mainder of the season. 

On his route to the Mohawk country, late in the fall (1675), King 
Philip and his party passed through this town, and made a brief halt. 
Provisions were plenty — the result of their captures here and at 
Deerfield. He returned about the middle of February ; and was 
encamped on the bluff known as Philip's hill, and higher up the river 
on the site of Nawelet's upper village, till about the 10th of April. 

Having made arrangements to plant the old corn-fields below the 
Great bend, for a future supply, 3 Philip and his band departed for 
Mount Hope. Some of the young warriors of our tribe may have 
gone with him ; but they soon returned, as will appear in the sequel. 
The squaws planted large fields of corn ; and as soon as the fishing 
season came on, the great multitude now gathered here, natives and 

1 " Wenimisset, or Meminimiaset, was part of a tract of land which is now in Mew Brain- 
tree, about 3 miles from West Brookfield, and has Ware river on the north, the meadow or 
swamp in which Meminimisset brook Hows on the west and south, and the same low 
swampy land on most of the east side. The road from Hardwick to New Braintree crosses 
it " (Sylvester Judd). — King Philip and about 40 men, besides women and children, joined 
the Nipnet Indians at this place, on the 5th of August, 1675.— Here Mrs. Rowlandson's 
child died, Friday, Feb. 18, 1676. 

2 As will appear in the account of Beers 's fight, these Indians were aided, and perhaps led 
by the chiefs of the Nashaways. 

3 When we were at this place (near the mouth of the Ashuelot) my master's maid came 
home ; she had been gone 3 weeks into the Narraganset country to fetch corn, where they 
had stored some in the ground ; she bro't home about a peck and a half" (Mrs. Rowlandion't 
Narrative). — About the zoth of March, Canonchet the Narraganset chief, who had been 

56 History of Nortbfield. 

strangers, were busy in catching and drying shad and salmon, and 
storing them in their underground barns. 

But the Indians did not gather their corn harvest. Prosperity made 
them careless ; and the tide soon turned. The disasters they suffered 
at the Falls below, in the well known. onslaught of the 19th of May, 
and other defeats which came in rapid succession, broke up their 
home ; and for a second time, they disappear from our valley. The 
defeat they suffered at the hands of the Mohawks in 1663 had a more 
direct effect to break their power as a tribe ; the defeats they now 
suffered at the hands of the whites broke their power as a race. After 
the former they sought an alliance with the English ; now they seek 
and form an alliance with the French, with whom their subsequent 
history becomes closely indentified. 

Near this date, the River Indians appear to have separated into two 
parties, one of which went to the westward, and the other to the 
northward. Those that went west were mainly Pacomptocks, and 
became eventually connected with the Scagkooks. 1 They were in 
general nominally friendly to the English, and often rendered them 
essential services. Those that went north were mainly Squakheags. 
At one time they were acting with the Pennacooks ; a at others they 
were in league with the St. Francis of Canada — perhaps became a 
component part of this tribe. They were always hostile to those of 
their own race that settled above Albany, and were ready for any 
opportunity to ravage the English settlements. Gov. Andros, writing 
April 1677, says: "The River Indians had fled, some to Canada, 
and the rest scattered among the tribes." — In the attack on Hatfield 
Sept. 19, 1677, the assailants were recognized as "the old "enemy 
and former neighbors, who had fled to the French about Quebec, and 
were lately come from thence." 

The Squakheags however maintained the, title to their old posses- 
sions, and their leading men were here in 1686 and 7, as appears 
from the deeds executed in those years. And they showed a con- 
sciousness of power, in exacting additional pay for -land previously 
sold for less than its value ; and in the greatly advanced rates which 

here with Philip for several weeks, proposed chat they should plant the meadows on the 
west side of the river — Nawelct's ground — with corn. As the seed must be got at Sea- 
conk, the adventure was a hazardous one, and all the young warriors refused to go for it. 
Canochet himself then offered to undertake the journey, and went with 30 followers. Hr 
was betrayed to the whites, capcured, and executed. But plenty of seed-corn was obtained 
from some quarter. 

1 u Scagkook, 20 miles from Albany. The Indians there had fled from New England in 
ye war times." (N. T. Colonial Doc, m.) 

2 Drate'i Hubbard, II, 248. 

Squakheag. $j 

they charged for the northerly tract. Perhaps at one time some of 
them lived at the Coasset, which is now Newbury, Vt. And some 
of them always lingered in this region, and hunted and fished, and 
"waited their opportunity." In the interim between 1690 and 17 14 
the country was open to them ; and when the English resettled 
Northfield in the latter year, the natives were quietly occupying 
several convenient points. In 1720 Zechariah Field bought of 
Pompanoot, "son and heir to Wawelet," for X12, "a large tract of 
land lying upon iMiller's river at a place called Paquayag, of the 
contents of about 30,000 acres, which land the said Pompanoot re- 
ceived as a gift from his honored father Wawelet." 1 The name of 
this Indian often appears in connection with our town affairs. In 
Ebenezer Field's Account Book (172 1-3), are many charges like the 
following : 

"Mar. 1722. To mending Pompanoot's gun 4 shillings. 

To 2 steel traps and mending a gun- 
lock for the Indians, JC 1 50 

To my wife's making an Indian shirt, 8 pence. 

To doing work for the Indians on 
your [his brother Zechariah's] 
acct. 16 shillings." 

This shows the relation of the two races in time of peace. When 
war broke out the Indian was ready to use his repaired gun and his 
knowledge of the white man's ways, for his destruction. Aaron Beld- 
ing recognized an old acquaintance in the Indian who scalped him. 

Single families camped through the season — perhaps for a series 
of years — in some secluded spot ; and straggling parties were wan- 
dering round during the warm weather. The men were sometimes 
hired by the farmers to assist them in certain kinds of labor. The 
squaws were skilled in making light baskets and peeled brooms, which 
they peddled by sale or barter. 

An Indian by the name of Jack, lived and died on a hill directly 
east of the present house of Calvin Priest ; and the hill and the 
stream running near it are known to this day as Jack's hill, and Jack's 

Old Keeup, as he is named in early deeds, lived farther to the east, 
on what is now the home place of John Delva. Keeup's hill, where 
his cabin was, and Keeup's brook, still commemorate the Indian and 
his dwelling-place. 

* Man Archives, xlvi, 53. 


History of Nortbfield, 

An Indian cabin stood on the top of Meadow hill, westerly of the 
cemetery, above what is known as Stratton hollow. The Indian died 
and the cabin was taken down by Eleazar Stratton who owned the 
land, soon after the American revolution. 

A family belonging to Masemet's clan were accustomed to make 
their home on "Wigwam," south-easterly from the Capt. Merriman 
place, and to tap the maple trees for sugar, as narrated in the preced- 
ing chapter. The descendants of this family are remembered by 
some now living. One of them — and the last Indian of the tribe, 
so far as is known — made regular annual or biennial visits to 
Northfleld, till he became very decrepit. His statement was that he 
came from Canada. During his stay of a few days he often made 
Capt. Merriman's premises his lodging place, whence he would stroll 
to Beers's plain, and other localities once occupied by his ancestors. 
At his visit in 1828 or '29, he fell and injured his head, and the 
wound was dressed by Dr. M. S. Mead, then just settled in town as 
a physician. When sufficiently recovered, the old man departed for 
the north, and was seen no more ! 

An Indian and his squaw by the name of Kobin — apparently full 
blood — resided for a few years, about 1825, just below Four-mile 
brook, where they raised a familv. 



Squakbeag — T£<? F/rj/ Settlement, covering the Period from 

1671 to 1675. 

The Petition and Petitioners — Action of the General Court — 
Committee to order Prudentials — List of Engagers — Orders for 
Settling — Town Bounds — Town Plot — The Town Built — The 
Meeting-Oak — Home Lots — First Crops planted — List of actual 
Settlers — The Becinning of Indian Hostilities — Attack of Sept. 2, 
1675 — Beers's Fight — Beers's Grave — List of Killed — The Town 


HE founding of a new plantation by a small colony, on a 
frontier so far from help, was a bold push. None but 
earnest, devoted, brave men and women would have taken 
the perilous step. Deerfield, the nearest English settle- 
ment, was planted only two years before; was yet feeble; was 16 
miles distant, and inter-communication was difficult. Hadley, to 
which they must look for aid in case of need, was 30 miles away. 
In other directions, Brookfield was 45 miles, Lancaster was 60, and 
Groton was 65 miles. All within this wide circle was wilderness. 
The motives and hopes which actuated the pioneers in this settle- 
ment, are best learned from their own declarations, which are fully set 
forth in the petitions and agreements copied at length in this chapter. 

1 67 1. — Having made a bargain with the Indians for the land — as 
already narrated — the movers for the plantation sent the following 
petition to the General court : 

To the Right Hon w and much Hon a Gen 11 Court of Mafsachufctts held at 
Bolton 31 of the 3 mo. [May 31] 1671 

Right Hon bl and much Honoured in the Lord 

Your humble Petitioners being by the good providence of God under your 
care government and protection, and having by the good hand of God in a 
fingular manner enjoyed the fame for a long time in peace (to the praife of His 
rich grace), The confideration of fuch fignal mercy ihould be a forfciblc spurr 
and llrong motive to quicken us to finccrc obedience and he.irty thankfulncls to 
the God of Peace, vvliofe free love and good pleafurc in Jcius CliriJt is the 
fountain of all our good an j comfort.— 


History of Northfield. 

Right LTon bI and much Hon d 

Your humble Petitioners are unfeignedly defirous (if it may pleafe the Lord 
to incline your fpirits to look towards us with a favorable afpect) to continue 
under your government. We conceive there is a great duty incumbent uppon 
all that fear God, to confider, project and endeavour how they may promote 
Chriil's Kingdom in order topofterity ; but finding ourfelves in a great meafure 
ftraightencd, and not in a capacity to attend that great work and duty unlefs 
we remove to fome other place, which doth occafion us to make our humble 
addrefs to this Honourable Afsembly for help and fupply. The places that 
our eyes are uppon (though it beuncoth remote and we conceive attended with 
many difficulties) yet feeing God in His providence has caufed the Indians to 
defert thofe places called by the Indians Squawquegue and Wifsquawquegue : 
And it is reported that they are refolved to fell the fame either to Englifh or 
French ; we conceive it would be uncomfortable if that fuch a people mould 
have any intereft there : And thofe that went uppon difcovery affirmed that the 
want of inhabitants to burn the meadows and woods, whereuppon the under- 
woods increafe, which will be very prejudiciall to thofe that fhalJ come to in- 
habit, and the longer the worfe. 

Right Hon u and much honoured : We are loath to be tedious in multiply- 
ing arguments, butdefire to be as compendious as may be to fignify our humble 
dcfires to your Worlhips, that we may have liberty and incouragement to pur- 
chafe a Plantation. And if it (hall pleafe the Lord to incline this Hon bl Court 
to grant our humble requeft, and appoint a Committee to tranfact and order 
the fame, we shall acknowledge ourfelves much obliged to your Worlhips ; and 
{hall as is our bounden duty (with the help and afsiflance of God) lift up our 
hearts to the Lord Jefus the mighty Councellor, that he would be prefent with 
you to fill you with a fpirit of wifdom courage and the fear of the Lord, and 
that he would guide you in all your weighty occafions, confutations, adminis- 
trations and conclufions, foe that his great Name may be glorified, and that 
truth Rightcoufnefs tranquility and Peace may flow down as a mighty ftream 
throughout the Colony. 

which is the earned prayer of 

your humble fuppliants. 

William Smeade Joseph Jeanes 

John Hannum John Stebbins Sen. 

John Allin Alexander Alvard 

William Hannum 

John Searle 

Judah Wricht 

Joshua Pumery 

Matthew Clesson 

Joseph Kellocg 

Thomas Root Sen. 

Samuel Allen 

John Lyman 
William Hulburo 
Richard Lyman 
George Alexander 
Samuel Wright 
Joseph Dickinson 
Isaac Sheldon 
Richard Weller 
Ralph Hutchinson 
Robert Lyman 
William Jean us 

Micah Mudgb 
Abel Jeanes 
Richard Montague 
William Miller 
Thomas Webster 
Thomas Bascom 
Georce Lancton 
John Root." i 

Squakbeag. 6 1 

Of these 33 petitioners, all but three, viz : Thomas Webster, 
Joseph Kellogg and Richard Montague (who were of Hadley), ap- 
pear to have been residents of Northampton. Some of them were 
young men who had gained no legal settlement there. And many of 
the names never appear in the Northfield records. 

This petition was referred to a committee who reported June 8, 
1 67 1, as follows : 

" The Committee conceive y e petitioners may have a tratt of land for a 
Plantation where they move for it, and liberty to purchafe y e fame of y e In- 
dians, provided y' if y e lands there be fufficient to make two Plantations, as we 
understand it is probable they may ; they be then apportioned, accordingly, 
and y° Petitioners who firft appear to have liberty to choofe on which to fetde 
y m felves : where they fhall have a trad of Land to y e contents of feven miles 
fquare for a Townfhip. Provided twenty families be fettled on y e place w th in 
four years rime, and y l they procure y m a godly and orthodox minifter. And 
that one mile fquare w th in faid tradt be laid out for y e General Court or 
Country ufe by y° Committee aforefaid. And y° affairs of this Plantation, re- 
ceiving inhabitants, granting lands, and ordering all y° prudentialls of y° fame 
to be arranged by Lieut. William Clarke Lieut. Samuel Smith and Cornet 
William Aljys, or any two of y m , who are hereby impowered a Committee for 
y l purpofe till this Court fhall otherwife order ; and y u charge of y° Committee 
to be defrayed by y e Petitioners. 
June 8, 1671. John Pynchon 

Henry Bartholomew 
Joshua Hobart 

The Deputys approve of the return of the Committee in anfwer hereunto. 

Wiluam Torrey, Clerk. 

The Magiftrates confent not hereto. 

Edw. Rawson, Secretary. 

This refusal of consent on the part of the Magistrates — for what 
reason does not appear — frustrated the plans for a settlement of Squalc- 
heag this year, though the petitioners had secured the land of the 
Indians, as before narrated. It is not unlikely that some of the 
Magistrates hoped to secure grants in the rich meadows for them- 
selves, as had previously happened at Hatfield, and subsequently 
happened at Northfield, as will appear by and by. 

The next spring — 1672 — the petitioners renewed their applica- 
tion to the General court, and with better success. 

" In anfwer to the petition of feveral the inhabitants of Northampton and 
other towns, the Magiftrates judge meet to declare their readinefs to grant the 
petitioners and their afsociates a convenient quantity of land at Squawkeage for 
a village, Provided there be twenty able and honeft perfons, houfeholdcrs do, 

6 2 History of Northjield. 

appear, fuch as this Court fhaJI approve, of that fhall give their names to Major 
Pynchon to be preferred to the next General Court, with ingagement under 
their hands that they will fetde upon the place not lei's than twenty families 
within eighteen months after the grant, and will then alfo appoint the quantity 
of land for that end, and alio appoint a Committee to order that affair ; Provided 
always, that the perfons that ingage to erect this village take due care to provide 
and maintain the preaching of the word and ordinances of God amongft them. 
And the Court do alfo order that there be a farm of 300 acres of land referved 
for the Country in fuch a fit and convenient place in that village as the com- 
mittee of this Court fhall choofe : ffurther, if the petitioners find a convenient 
opportunity in the interim to purchafe the Indian title to thefe lands, the Court 
do declare that nothing herein is intended to implead the fame. 

The Deputys confent hereto, provided, that if the petitioners do buy the 
land, it fhall be the Country's except they perform the conditions of the Grant. 

William Torrey, Cleric 

Confcntcd to by the Mag*' 8 , Edw. Rawson, Secy May 15, 1672. 

" The names of thofe that prcfented their names to Major Pynchon to be 

prcfented to the Hon d General Court, who ingaged to do their indcavour to 
attend the conditions of the grant : — 

Elder John Strong Isaac Sheldon 

Joseph Parsons Sen. Matthew Clesson 

Samuel Wricht Sen. Joshua Pumery 

Joseph Dickinson John Alexander 

George Alexander Cornelius Merry 

Thomas Bascom William Smead 

Robert Limon Richard Weller 

Thomas Root Sen. John Kilburn of Wethcrfficld 

William Jeanes John Hilyer 

William Hurlburt Micah Mudge 

Nath 1 Phelps Sen. Ralph Hutchinson" 

William Miller Sen. 

At Sefsion of the General Court, Oft. 11, 1672. 
" Whereas feveral perfons from Northampton and other places have prc- 
fented their names to Major John Pynchon, according to an order of this Court 
dated May 15, 1672, the lift whereof he hath returned to this court and is on 
file, whereby they ingage thcmfelves to fettle a village at Squakcake upon Con- 
necticut River above Hadley, according to provifions and conditions exprefsed 
in the faid order ; This Court, confidcring the premifes, do grant unto the faid 
perfons and fuch others as fhall join with them in making the faid village, fuch 
a tract of land in the faid places as fhall amount to the contents of fix miles 
fquarc : Provided, it be not laid out above eight miles in length by the River 
fides ; And do appoint and impower Lieut. William Clarke William Holton 
Lieut. Samuel Smith Cornet William Allys and Isaac Graves, or any three of 
them, to be a Committee for to lay out the faid plantation, and to lay out a farm 

Squakbeag. 63 

of 300 acres of upland and meadow in fome convenient place there near the 
town for the ufc or* the Country ; to admit inhabitants; to grant lots ; and 
order all the prudentiall affairs of the faid village ; and all at the charge of the 
faid undertakers ; and to take fpecial care that a godly preacher be placed there 
as foon as there is twenty families fettled ; and this power of the Committee is 
to continue until this Court take further order." 

Under this appointment three of the Committee, viz., Clarice, 
Allis, and Graves, went up to Squakehege, probably in the fall of 
1672, " with two of the engagers," and laid out the township. u We 
appointed and ordered a little brook called Natanis on the west side 
of the Great River to be the bounds at the southerly end ; then we 
measured about eight miles up the River to a little river that runs into 
the Great River, and appointed it to run westerly three quarters of a 
mile from the Great River : On the east side of the River to come to 
the lower end of the Three Little meadows that are below the town's 
plot, and so to run up the River eight miles, and three miles and three 
quarters easterly from the Great River." 

Having laid out the township, the Committee " agreed to make the 
following orders for the settling of the inhabitants," viz : 

1. That all thofe that have land granted there (hall be there at the place with 
their familys according to the time prefixed and fet by the Court, i e 1 8 months 
from the date of the Court's grant to the inhabitants. 

2. That whereas fome perfons might go thither and tarry there fo little and 
fhort a time as may fruftrate and retard and hinder the work intended by the 
Court, viz. the fettling of a Plantation ; and alfo detriment and damage to thofe 
that fhall fettle there, we do therefore order that all thofe that take up land at 
Squakehege (hall build upon it and continue in their own perfons and familys, if 
they be fuch as have familys, but if not in their own perfons for the fpacc of four 
years from the time of their familys coming thither; otherwife their land to fall 
into the hands of thofe that (hall have power to difpofe of it to others — except 
in cafe of death or fome other inevitable Providence, in fuch cafes to remain 
to'the heirs of fuch perfons. 

3. That every perfon that (hall take up land there (hall be liable to bear all 
equal charges according to the number of acres each man hath there, as purchafe 
money, and all other public charges except Country Rates. 

4. That all that have land in any Common cornfield or meadow (hall make 
good and fufficient fence, according to his due proportion for what land he hath 
in the faid field or meadow. 

5. And it is further ordered, that there (hall be a convenient lot laid out for 
a Miniftcr, both home-lot and meadow. 

6. That no inhabitant be received into the Plantation without the approba- 
tion of three of the Committee and the major part of the Company, till this 
Committee's power be ended." 

64 History of Northfield. 

The township as first laid out by the Committee had little resem- 
blance to the Northfield of to-day. It was somewhat irregular in 
shape, and contained considerably more than the authorized thirty-six 
square miles. On the west side of the river it extended from Ben- 
nett's brook to Broad brook, with a width of only J of a mile. On 
the east side of the river, the south line was placed about one mile 
lower down than on the west side, which would bring the north line 
on the east side, to Ash-swamp brook, afterwards the site of Hins- 
dell's fort. This was commonly regarded the line, till the survey of 
Timothy Dwight, Esq., in 1720, carried it down about J of a mile. 
The width on the east side of the river was 3^ miles. 

This tract, thus bounded, comprised all the valuable (as qualities 
were then estimated) interval and meadow lands on both sides of the 
river. Plain lands, such as lay west of the three-quarter mile limit, 
were then reckoned nearly worthless ; and the " hill country " to the 
east, was of account only for wood, arid as pasturage for their cattle. 

The town plot or village site, was laid out at the southerly end of 
what is now known as Northfield street. The reason why the first 
comers pitched here was, because the land hereabouts was freer from 
obstructions, having been in part previously broken up and cultivated 
by the Indian squaws. And this point was near the only open path 
to the Great meadow, where they must raise their grass and grain 

It appears that twenty home-lots were marked off at the outset, 
sixteen on the west and four on the east side of the street. These 
lots were twenty rods in width, and were intended to contain 7 -J 
acres. Only sixteen of these lots, however, were taken up by actual 
settlers. The list of heads of families, who put up dwellings here in 
this First Settlement, is as follows : — Ralph Hutchinson, Elder Wil- 
liam Janes, Robert Lyman, Cornelius Merry, John Hilyard, Joseph 
Dickinson, Micah Mudge, John Alexander, George- Alexander, 
Samuel Wright, Thomas Webster, who had lots on the west side of 
the street, which they or their heirs held in the Second Settlement, 
as represented in the diagram accompanying the next chapter : Wil- 
liam Miller and William Clarke had lots on the east side of the 
street, but the latter did not take possession. Joseph Parsons appears 
to have taken a home-lot ; but was represented here by a substitute. 
Thomas Bascom, William Smeade, and William Hurlburt or Thomas 
Root Jr. came with the others, but it is not known where they 
pitched. James Bennett probably became a resident in the spring of 
1675, and may have settled on the lot next north of Elder Janes. 

At the time the home-lots were assigned, Great meadow and 

Squakheag. 65 

Pauchaug were each divided among the settlers. No other lands 
were apportioned to the inhabitants during the First Occupation. The 
swamps, which were the only woodlands, were held in common, and 
pasturage was free to all. 

The Town Built. — The following statement, prepared by Rev. 
John Hubbard, second pastor of the church, and published in vol. 
II of the Massachusetts Historical Society's Collections, contains the sub- 
stance of what is known of the exact date of the first coming on of 
the inhabitants, and how they built. "In (the spring of) 1673 set- 
tlers came on, planted down near one to another, built small huts, 
covered them with thatch, and near their centre made one for public 
worship and employed Elder William Janes as their preacher ; also 
ran a stockade and fort around a number of what they called houses, 
to which they might repair in case -they were attacked by the enemy." 
From this it appears that only a few of the s«ttlers built on their 
home-lots. The evidence is conclusive that the majority of the 
buildings were set close together in a quadrangular space, covering 
perhaps 30 by 40 rods, which was surrounded by a stockade or line 
of pickets. These pickets were cleft posts ten feet long, set close 
together in the ground to the depth of two feet. A railing ran 
round near the top to which each - post was pinned. Such a fence 
was both arrow and bullet proof ; and no record is found — except 
in one instance at Northampton — where Indians ventured inside of 
such an inclosure. 

From a variety of incidental circumstances, it is believed that this 
cluster of huts stood near where the Zechariah Field fort was built 
in the Last Settlement. This was the height of land ; was suited 
both for defence and watching ; and was convenient to the meadow 
road. The huts themselves must have been built of logs, or rude 
frames covered with clap-boards. These clap-boards, or cleft- boards, 
were split from oak bolts, or cuts, were 5 to 7 feet long, 8 to 10 
inches wide, and about \\ inches thick on the back. They were 
laid lapping, and made a durable and tolerably tight covering. This 
style of boarding was used after regularly framed houses were erected. 
As late as 1763, when Capt. Joseph Stebbins, Ensign Samuel Strat- 
ton, and Col. Eleazar Patterson, built on the west side of the river 
(in what is now Vernon), they covered in their houses with rived 
clap-boards like those above described. 1 The thatch used in cover- 
ing the roof was nothing more than the native grass which grew in 

1 Letter or' John Stebbiiu. 

66 History of Northfield. 

the meadows. An old writer says, "this meadow grass was very 
rank ; if let alone it grew up to a man's face" 

Rev. Mr. Hubbard states that the early settlers had "a meeting 
house." It is a well authenticated tradition that Elder Janes preached 
during the first summer under a spreading oak, which stood at the south 
end of the street (in front of the present house of John Wright). This 
venerable tree — hallowed by sacred associations with the Sabbath 
worship of the pioneers of the town — a witness of the varied life of 
the English for six generations — probably the witness of the change- 
ful life of the Indians for other generations — for it must have been 
a grown tree in 1673 — is still preserved with jealous care — Oh ! 
no — it was burned down, through boyish carelessness and neighborly 
indifference, July 5, 1869. 

The home-lots of the settlers were of equal size, without regard to 
the owner's pecuniary ability. The rule adopted for the division of 
the meadows is not clearly stated, but is believed to have been 
according to the amount of purchase money each man put into the 
common stock. This represented his share in the adventure, and was 
the basis of taxation, and, rightfully, of land apportionment. Great 
meadow was partitioned off into 3 parts, and Pauchaug into 2 parts ; 
and each settler received a lot in each of the several parts. The 
main divisions as well as the individual lots lay at right angles to the 
river; and a road ran north and south across every man's lot near the 
centre. This apparently minute subdivision was intended to secure 
greater equality. If in either meadow one portion was of poorer soil, 
or the fences more exposed to freshets, no one was likely to get all 
his land in these undesirable spots. One or two of his lots was cer- 
tain to be of the best or of average quality. Great meadow, as laid 
out, was estimated at 385 acres ; Pauchaug was estimated at 130 acres. 
The crops first planted were flax, indian corn and wheat. Mrs. 
Rowlandson, who was brought a captive hither, in the March succeed- 
ing the destruction of the village, says in her Narrative : *' we came 
to Squauheag, where the Indians quickly spread themselves over the 
deserted English fields, gleaning what they could find ; some picked 
up ears of wheat that were crinckled down, some found ears of indian 
corn, others sheaves of wheat that were frozen together in the shock, 
and went to threshing of them out. My self got two ears of indian corn, 
and whilst I did but turn my back, one of them was stolen from me, 
which much troubled me : A solemn sight methought it was, to see 
whole fields of wheat and corn forsaken and spoiled, and the remainder 
' of them to be food for our merciless enemies ! That night we had 
a mess of wheat for our supper." 

Squakheag. 67 

The settlers had a good store of cattle. For it is stated that when 
Major Treat brought off the inhabitants, after Beers's defeat, he "left 
the cattle," many of which were killed by the Indians, and seventeen 
of the remainder followed the retreating company, " of their own 
accord, and reached Hadley in safety." They had also a consider- 
able flock of sheep. Wool and flax were the materials necessary for 
winter and summer clothing ; of which every new settlement was 
expected to furnish its own supply. 

It is difficult to determine the precise number of inhabitants in the 
aggregate, that made a lodgement here — and constituted the home- 
life of the little village, during the brief period of its continuance. 
Probably there was coming and going : some of the older children 
of a family did not remove hither with the parents ; and such infants 
as were born here were recorded with the rest at the old home in 
Northampton. The following sketch of the several families will 
afford a basis for a tolerably correct estimate. 

Ralph Hutchinson. He was from Boston : was early at North- 
ampton, whence he came to Squakheag. His wife was Alice, widow 
of Francis Bennett of Boston. They had four young children. 

William Janes. He came from England in 1637; was a first 
settler at New Haven; was at Northampton as early as 1656; a 
teacher at both places. He was an earnest forwarder of the new 
plantation, came hither with the first company, and became both 
teacher and preacher. His second wife was Hannah, daughter of 
Thomas Bascom Sen., and widow of John Broughton. They had 
four children, the youngest less than a year old, and probably four 
or five of the children of the first wife came with the parents. 

James Bennett. He was a son of Mrs. Ralph Hutchinson by 
her first husband. In the spring of 1675 he married Mary Brough- 
ton, daughter of Mrs. William Janes by her first husband. He was 
killed at the Falls fight, May 19, 1676. Being connected with the 
Hutchinson and Janes families, and perhaps one of the first explorers 
of the territory, it is not unlikely that Bennett's meadow received its 
name from him. 

Thomas Bascom. His father, Thomas Sen., was of Dorchester 
1633, Windsor 1640, Northampton 1661. His sister married 
William Janes. He married Mary Newell of Farmington. They 
had certainly two children when they came to Squakheag, and pro- 
bably one born here. 

Robert Lyman. He was son of Richard of Windsor. He married 
at Northampton in 1662, Hepzibah Bascom, sister of Thomas Jun. 
They had three or four children, and one born 1674. 

68 History of Northfield. 

George Alexander. He was early at Windsor, then at North- 
ampton. He was of the first party that went up the river to Squak- 
heag, and did much to promote the settlement of the place. His 
wife was Susanna : and perhaps two of the younger children (then 
grown up) were with him here. 

John Alexander. He was the oldest son of George, born, 
July 25, 1645 ; married Nov. 28, 1671 Sarah Gay lord. Their 
first child was born Jan. 24, 1673. 

Thomas Webster. He was son of John Webster, governor of 
Connecticut ; settled first in Hadley. His wife was Abigail daughter 
of George Alexander. They had three young children. 

Micah Mudge. He was son of Jarvis of Wethersfield ; was at 
Northampton, 1670, in which year, he married Mary daughter of 
George Alexander. They had one child, and another born here. 
He was a first explorer, and a prominent man in the new settlement. 
Samuel Wright. He was son of Dea. Samuel of Springfield, 
and Northampton. He married Nov. 24, 1653, Elizabeth Burt. 
They had seven children, and among them were Benjamin and Elie- 
zur, afterwards noted in Northfield history. He was sergeant in 
command of the soldiers, and was killed by the Indians in the first 
attack on the town, Sept. 2, 1675. A posthumous child, born ten 
days after the father's death, was named Benoni. 

Cornelius Merry. He was a native of Ireland ; was at North- 
ampton 1663 ; married Mary Ballard ; had four children, and one 
born here. 

William Miller. He was at Ipswich 1648 ; was a first settler 
at Northampton ; a tanner by trade. His wife was Patience ; they 
had eight children, the youngest born Jan. 20, 1672. Mrs. M. was 
a skilful physician and surgeon, and was the only doctor at N. during 
the first two settlements. 

Thos. Root, Jun. His father Thomas was at Salem, 1637, at 
Hartford 1639, at Northampton 1658. At Northampton Thomas 
Jun. married Abigail daughter of Alexander Alvard, a first petitioner 
for Northfield. They had three children. 

John Hilliard or Hilyer. He was son of John of Windsor. 
He married Anne Baxter. They had two young children. 

William Smead. He was of Northampton ; married Elizabeth 
Lawrence daughter of Thomas of Dorchester. They had five child- 
ren, and one born here. 

Joseph Dickinson. His father Nathaniel was of Wethersfield 
and Hadley. He (Joseph) settled first at Northampton ; wife Phebe. 

Squakbeag. 69 

They had four children, and one born at Northfield. He was a first 
settler here and was killed with Capt. Beers, Sept. 4, 1675. 

Joseph Parsons Sen. Was in Springfield as early as 1636 ; re- 
moved to Northampton 1654. He was a first explorer of Squak- 
heag, and the agent for purchasing the lands of the Indians, as 
previously narrated. He received grants of a home-lot and other lands, 
and bore his share of the charges of this First Settlement, but appears 
not to have removed here in person. In 1683, he had a grant of 90 
acres of meadow, which required him to settle 3 inhabitants. Per- 
haps his son Joseph Jr. occupied one right. He died at Springfield 
Oct. 9, 1683, and his heirs held his lands at Northfield for many 

It thus appears that the Hutchinson, Janes, Bascom, Bennett and 
Lyman families were connected by marriage ; as were also the Alex- 
anders, Webster, and Mudge families ; and that all but Thomas 
Webster removed hither from Northampton. The fact is also appa- 
rent that the majority of the parents were in the .prime of life, and 
most of them with families of little children. This adds a peculiar in- 
terest and shading of anxiety to our search into their history. Know- 
ing the inner structure of the several households, it is not difficult for 
us to picture to ourselves the leading features of the somewhat iso- 
lated life they led. There was much of social equality, and mutual 
regard. If one individual or household suffered, all felt the pain ; if 
one was glad, all shared in the joy. Their lot was that of hard and 
protracted toil ; but their trust in God and hope of a better future 
inspired and supported them. And they must have been fairly pro- 
sperous. For at the opening of the third season after breaking ground, 
we find them able to repay the purchase money for the tract compris- 
ing Bennett's meadow and the uplands adjoining, which was bought 
for them in 1673 by Joseph Parsons and William Clarke. But a 
dark cloud appeared suddenly upon their horizon ! 

The Indians throughout the valley continued on friendly terms 
with the whites till the spring of 1675. They had been accustomed 
to set their wigwams on the commons, and sometimes on the home- 
lots. They had bartered and begged, as the case might be. When 
they could get rum or flip, they would drink to excess, and became 
quarrelsome ; but when sober, would submit to the common legal 
penalties. Usually they were peaceably inclined. In some of the 
settlements they liked to take land of the English to plant on shares, 
the stipulation being that the whites should plow the same, the In- 
dians finding the seed and returning half the crop. 

jo History of Nortbfield. 

The two races were separate ; and the line of separation was 
becoming more and more apparent. There were mutual jealousies 
and distrust ; but as little of friction as it is reasonable to expect when 
civilized and savage life come in contact. 

The first signs of a change of feeling and purpose on the part of 
the Indians, noticed this spring, were a neglect to make the usual 
arrangements for planting corn ; and a simultaneous removal of their 
effects to their forts and hiding-places. Some friendly Nonotuck 
squaws gave significant hints to certain exposed families at North- 

Our Northfield people lived in less direct contact with the natives, 
and appear not to have been alarmed, nor to have taken any unusual 
precautions. And the spring wore on, and summer came, and the 
settlers were not molested. 

The first act of war in this neighborhood, was the destruction of 
Brookfield on the second of August. 

This unexpected outbreak aroused and alarmed the authorities and 
the people. Companies of soldiers under Captains Lothrop and Beers 
were sent up by the Council at Boston, and reached Brookfield 
August 7. The Council of Connecticut sent up Capt. Thomas 
Watts of Hartford with 40 dragoons. Lieut. Thomas Cooper of 
Springfield with 27 mounted troops and 10 Springfield Indians, joined 
Capt. Watts, and all marched to Brookfield, reaching that place the 
7th. This force moved up to Wenimisset on the 8th, (Philip arrived 
there three days earlier) " but found no Indians." The Springfield 
company under Lieut. Cooper, went several miles further to the 
north, but discovering no tracks of Indians, returned home on the 
1 oth. Captains Lothrop and Beers made their head-quarters at Brook- 
field. A company of 30 Indians under Joshua the son of Uncas, and 
another company of 30 Indians from near Hartford, came up, and 
ranged the woods ; but to no purpose. The hostile savages were no 
where to be found. 

As a matter of precaution, at the breaking out of hostilities, a 
squad of 20 soldiers was sent by Major Pynchon to garrison North- 
field, who were put under command of Lieut. Samuel Wright. 

During the interval between the 10th and 21st of August, our troops 
stationed at Brookfield and Hadley scoured the country about Swift 
river, and went up the Connecticut as far as Deerfield, where Capt. 
Watts left a small guard. 

The ill-success of the troops in tracking the savages, shows 
either inexperience, or the treachery of their Indian guides ; and the 
small guard left at the exposed frontier towns, shows that the real peril 

Squakheag. j I 

of the situation was not fully comprehended. 1 Nor is this surprising. 
The River Indians had never complained of wrongs received from the 
English, and our people had no reason to suspect injury from them. 
Nor was any motive apparent for the transfer of King Philip's quarrel 
to this remote valley. 

But the Northfield settlers began to realize the insecurity of their 
position. The news of the onset at Brookfield, and the unsuccess- 
ful scouting, and the sending of a guard of soldiers for their protection, 
all betokened evil, and gave cause for anxiety. And the enemy con- 
trived about this date, to surround and drive off their flock of sheep. 
In this emergency, about August 19, Joseph Dickinson went down 
to Hadley, to consult with their friends, and, as appears, to urge 
either the sending of additional troops, or the bringing off of the in- 
habitants. The sudden turn of affairs kept him in Hadley, and pre- 
vented any decision for 10 or 12 days, when, returning, as he 
supposed, with succor, he met his death on Beers's plain. 

The following letter of Major Pynchon to the Connecticut coun- 
cil furnishes a clear picture of affairs at this juncture : 

Springfield Aug. 22, 1675. 
In y° night a Pod was fent me from Hadley, that o r forces are returned, 
Capt. Watts thither, and the Bay forces to Quaboag. Nothing done but 
about 50 wigwams they found empty which they burnt. They write from 
Hadley they expect nothing but y° enemy to infult and fall upon y u remote 
cow 1 s; that they are in great fear; a guard of 20 left at Squakeak is too weak; 
fome of your foldiers left at Pacomfuck Capt. Watts fpeaks of calling off, v/ 1 ^ 
troubles y ,n greatly : Sufpcfl o r Indians y l went out to be fearful or falfe or 
both; fay y l y c (heep at Squakeake are driven away fince y° foldiers were there; 
Sufpecl y° enemy to be between Hadley and Squakeak at Paquayag, about 10 
miles from the Great River. I am fending to Capt. Watts to flay with his 
forces there : I would gladly you would allow it and give further order about it, 
as y l they may make difcovery for y° enemy at y° place forenamed. 

Yrs in y° Lord Jefus 

John Pynchon 

P. S. Momonto thinks y° Indian enemy may be in a Swamp called Mo- 
mattanick, about 3 miles off" Paquayag, between Hadley and Squakeak : it is 
pity but they fhould be difrcfled; and y r Indians will be y° mod likely to do 
fomething. 2 

1 ♦* Partly by the treachery of some of the Indians that came to their assistance, that 
seemed to favor the English but rather acted in behalf of the enemy, and partly by the 
subtilties of the enemies themselves, who could easily by their scouts discover the approach 
of our soldiers, and by the nimblcness of their feet escape them, our soldiers could never 
meet with any of them." — Hubbard. 

1 Cunn. Col. RecarJt, II, 535. 

72 History of Nortbfield, 

The Nonotucks, whose principal fort was on the river bank be- 
tween Northampton and Hatfield, had taken no active part with the 
Nipnets in the burning of Brookfield, but had volunteered to join the 
English in their scouting expedition to the northward of that place ; 
yet they were in evident sympathy with their brethren. In a letter 
sent to the Connecticut council, Rev. Mr. Stoddard says : u When 
they were with our army near Potetipaug, they said they must not 
fight against their mothers, brothers and cousins (for Quaboag In- 
dians are related to them). And after our men were killed at Brook- 
field, they made eleven triumphant shouts, according to the number 
of our men killed, as their manner is when they have slain their ene- 
mies. And their conduct, while with the scouting party, before 
alluded to, led Joshua to remark that ' our Indians made fools of the 

" The Hadley Indians offered themselves to fight against Philip ; 
but the Mohegans that came from Hartford told the English plainly 
that no good would be done while that company went along with 
them, for they would always give some shout when they came near 
the enemy as a warning to them to look out for themselves. * * The 
older ones among their sachems seemed loath to engage against the 
English." 2 

This tribe concentrated at their fort below Hatfield, just before 
the English troops under Captains Watts, Lothrop and Beers con- 
centrated at Hadley on the 23d of August. At a council of war, 
held this day, it was determined to disarm these Indians ; but on the 
night of the 24th, before the plan was carried into effect, they left 
the fort in a body, and went to the north. It is said that before 
leaving, the young warriors killed an old sachem, because he refused 
to join in their hostile scheme. These Indians were pursued, early 
the next morning, by Captains Lothrop and Beers, with a hundred 
men ; and a severe battle was fought in a swamp, just south of Mount 
Wequomps, in the present town of Whately. The clan then joined 
the Pacomptocks of Deerfield. 

From Pynchon's letter, and other sources of evidence it is tolerably 
certain that the main body of the Squakheags, with some of the Qua- 
boags, and one or more Natick Indians were in camp at or near 
Paquayag. This was a convenient rendezvous and hiding-place. 
Philip himself may have been with them, though the probabilities are 
that he had returned to the strong-hold near Wachuset. He was too 
cunning to expose himself to danger, at this stage of his plans ; and 
he had not a sufficient force, devoted to his interests, to risk a general 

1 Copied from JudXi Hadley. * Drake' t Hubbard, i, 108. ag. 7 3 

battle. Indeed his army, at this date, was insignificant. His name 
was rather a terror to the whites, than a tower of strength to the red 

During the week succeeding the Swamp fight in Whately, the 
Indians were not seen at any point ; but they were preparing to strike 
an effectual blow at the two frontier villages. Sept. 1, the Pacomp- 
tocks, augmented by the Nonotucks, suddenly fell upon Deerfield, 
which then had but a small guard, shot one soldier of the garrison 
(James Eggleston) and fired most of the exposed buildings. 

The next morning, Sept. 2, the band of savages that had been 
lying in wait near Miller's river, appeared in force at Squakheag. 
They had just received the large reinforcement of a war party of 
Nashaways, headed by Sagamore Sam and One-eyed John, the latter 
of whom was probably the leading spirit in this attack on our village, 
and the assault on Capt. Beers two days later. 

It was the season for drying their flax ; and ignorant of what had 
happened the day before to their neighbors at Deerfield, our people 
went about their work as usual on that morning. Both the soldiers 
and settlers appear to have been scattered in the meadows and home- 
lots, when the assault was made. According to the Rev. Mr. Hub- 
bard, M some were killed in their houses, others as they were coming 
out of the meadows ; the rest, men, women and children, fled to their 
fort, unable to sally out and repel the enemy. The savages kept 
around them, killed many of their cattle, destroyed their grain (wheat 
which was harvested and in the stook), burnt up the houses that were 
outside the stockade, and laid all waste." This affair took place 
Thursday Sept. 2, 1675. 

The number, of whites officially reported as killed, was eight, viz : 
Sergt. Samuel Wright, aged about 45, Ebenezer Janes, aged 16, and 
Jonathan Janes, 14, sons of Elder William Janes (these three belonged 
to Squakheag), Ebenezer Parsons, aged 20, son of Joseph of North- 
ampton, John Peck of Hadley, Nathaniel Curtis of Northampton, 
Thomas Scott and Benjamin Dunwich, residence unknown. Only one 
of the Indians was reported killed. 

Here then were these 16 families crowded within the small stock- 
ade, and the bodies of their friends lying unburied where they fell, 
and the savage foe lurking in the adjacent thickets and ravines. The 
terror of these mothers and little children, and the anxiety of the§e 
fathers can hardly be exaggerated. And how are they to expect 
relief? To stay in the fort is probable death ; to leave it is certain 
death ! 

74 History of Nortbfield. 

The news of the attack by the Indians on Deerfield, on the ist, 
would certainly reach head-quarters at Hadley on the day of its occur- 
rence ; and the exposed condition of Squakheag would necessarily 
occasion solicitude. It appears that an immediate consultation was 
held, and the officers in command at Hadley determined to send up 
an expedition " to fetch off the garrison and people," instead of trying 
to hold the place. Sept. 2d, while the Indians were slaying and 
burning — Capt. Beers was preparing to go to the relief of the de- 
voted village. Richard Montague was impressed to bake a supply of 
bread, and his horse was taken for the use of a trooper. The oxen 
and cart of Wm. Markham, and his son for a driver were also im- 
pressed for the service. 1 It took the day to get ready. The next 
morning, Friday Sept. 3, the onset of the Indians the day before 
being still unknown, Capt. Beers set forth with 36 mounted men and 
one ox team on his march of 30 miles up the river. It was a long 
day's work, especially for the oxen ; and he halted, and camped for 
the night " 3 miles below the town " [Stoddard's letter). It is pro- 
bable that the camp was near Four-mile brook. 

Leaving the horses here with a guard, the Captain with his main 
body and the team with stores, started on Saturday morning, the 4th, 
for the village. This movement of going on foot, would indicate 
that he had some expectation of meeting the enemy, and his horses 
would be a disadvantage, according to the military tactics of the time. 
But then why did he, with his long experience in Indian warfare, 
march without a van-guard and flankers ? He knew that the savages 
were on the war-path — though he did not know of their assault on 
our people. He could hardly have been mistaken as to the character 
of the ground over which he was to pass, for one of the settlers 
(Joseph Dickinson) was in his company, and acting as a guide. It 
is most likely that bis familiarity with danger may have made him reckless ! 

1 Whereas your Petitioner had hii team (via. a yoke of* oxen) and hi$ son, which were 
the chief of maintenance for his family pressed for y« country's service to bring off y« garri- 
son at Squakheag, where his son and cattle were lost, and that which is allowed him for his 
oxen is about half what they cost him and were then valuable for ; which also he hath not 
received, but only a part of it hath been defalked in rates, whereby his family hath been re- 
duced to great suffering and straights — His humble request is, that if it may be, he may 
receive what is now due that he stands in such need of; or if that cannot be obtained, that 
at least you would favor him (being now in his 6oth year) with a release from training and 
watching and warding, which may be some help to him. And your Pet' shall always pray 
for blessings on you from on high, and remain. 

Your servt and suppliant 

William Markham. 
Hadley Oct. 15, 168 1. 

Squakbeag. 75 

He appears to have kept up on the high plain, till he came in sight 
of the little brook now known as Saw-mill brook. The ravine 
through which the stream ran was now covered (it being before the 
annual burning), with a rank growth of grass and ferns, and the leaves 
were thick on the young trees. Here he fell into an ambuscade. 
The brook was on his right, and he attempted to cross it where a 
depression in the plain made a passable fordway, in order to reach 
the hard land south and west of Dry swamp, and so come into the 
village near where is now the South road to Warwick. This was 
the common route of travel at the time ; and the Indians knew that, 
as matter of course, he would take it, and made their plans accord- 
ingly. Concealed in front, and behind the steep bank below the 
crossing-place, on his right, they fired upon the carelessly advancing 
column just as the head was passing the brook, when it would be 
exposed for its entire length. 1 

It is evident that Capt. Beers was taken completely at unawares ; 
and his men were thrown into confusion. But a part of them 
quickly rallied, and with their commander fought bravely — " hotly 
disputing the ground," as Stoddard has it. The main stand appears 
to have been made towards the south end of the plain (now Beers's 
plain), where is a slight rise of land. But the odds was too great 
against him.* Deducting the guard left with the horses, and the 
prisoners who were probably taken in the confusion of the first onset, 
and the killed, the captain must have been left almost alone. He 
retreated up the rising ground about J of a mile, till he came to a 
narrow ravine on the southerly spur of the hill (now Beers's hill). 
This ravine was about 10 rods in length, 35 feet wide, and 10 feet 
deep. It afforded but a slight cover ; but he accepted it in place of 
a better. It is a tradition, that when he reached this spot, he gave 
the order for 4 * each man to lookout for himself." He chose to 
stand and fight : and here he fell ; and here he was buried. 3 

1 Cjpt. Beers's baggage wagon was left about midway of the plain nearly opposite the pre- 
sent house of T. J. Field, and perhaps marks the spot reached by the rear of the column. 

*A note in Mather's Brief History^ says : " It seems that Capt. Beers and those 36 men 
that were with him fought courageously till their powder and shot was spent, then the In- 
dians prevailed over them so as to kill about 20 of them, only 13 escaped with their lives, 
at which time a cart with some ammunition fell into the hands of the enemy." 

' The tradition which marks this as the spot where Capt. Beers was killed and buried, is 
of undoubted authenticity. The old men in each generation have told the same story, and 
identified the place. And the existence here from time immemorial of two stones — like 
head and foot stones — set at the proper distance apart, certainly marks the place of a 
grave ; and the care to erect stones indicates the grave of more than a common soldier. 
The new house of Capt. Samuel Mcrrimun, built about 50 years ago, was set directly across 

J 6 History of Nortbfield. 

The authorities of the time are substantially agreed as to the num- 
ber of men sent out on this expedition, viz., the Captain, with 36 
troopers and one teamster. But they differ widely in regard to the 
numbers saved and killed in the action. According to Hubbard's 
Narrative, " Capt. Beers and about twenty of his men were slain." — 
Rev. Mr. Russell of Hadley reports 16 slain in all, and gives the 
names of 11, viz., Capt. Beers, John Chenary, Ephraim Child, 
Benjamin Crackbone, Robert Pepper, George Lyruss, John Gatch- 
ell, James Miller, John Wilson, Joseph Dickinson, William Mark- 
ham Jr. — The note in Mather's Brief History says : "The Indians 
killed above 20 and only 13 escaped :" i. e. 13 returned to Hadley 
with the horses that night. 

A paper has been discovered in the State archives, which differs in 
some respects from the other accounts, but which helps us to a satis- 
factory solution of the question. The following is a copy : " List 
of the killed at Nortbfield, Sept. 4, 1 675. Capt. Richard Beers, John 
Getchell, Benj. Crackbone, Ephraim Child, George Lickens, John 
Wilson, Thomas Cornich, Robert Pepper, John Ginery, Jeremiah 
Morrell, Elisha Woodward, William Markham Jr., Joseph Dickin- 
son, James Mullard, and eight killed at Squakheag with Capt. Beers 
of whom there is no account." This makes the number of killed, 
22. But one on the list, Robert Pepper, of Roxbury, was found 
alive and in captivity the next year. Add this one to the 16 that re- 
turned to Hadley makes 17 saved, and 21 killed ; and thus the full 
number is accounted for. Joseph Dickinson was a Northfleld set- 
tler ; William Markham Jr. was from Hadley ; most of the others 
were from Watertown, Boston and Roxbury. 

The guard left with the horses, and those that escaped with them, 
13 in all, " got to Hadley that evening, the 4th ; next morning another 
came in, and at night another, that had been taken, by the Indians 
and bound, and was loosed from his bond by a Natick Indian : he 
tells that the Indians were all drunk that night (on the rum found 
among the rations in the cart) 1 that they mourned raAich for the loss 

the ravine, which was made to answer for a cellar by rilling in the space in front and rear. 
Capt. Ira Coy informs the writer that, before any thing was disturbed, he and Cape. M. 
dug into the grave. They found the well defined sides and bottom, where the spade had 
left the clay solid ; and at the depth of about twenty inches (the shallowness indicating 
haste) was a layer of dark colored mould, some of it in small lumps, like decayed bones. The 
grave was then filled up, a large flat stone laid over it, and the hollow graded up. It can 
be found by the highway side, about ten feet outside the fence, a little to the west of a 
direct line extending from the front door of the house through the front gate. 

1 Some of the iron belonging to this cart was found on Beers's plain a half century since, 
and was worked up by Samuel Alexander the blacksmith. 

Squakbeag. jj 

of a great captain, that the English had killed 25 of their men. Six 
days after, another soldier came in who had been lost since the fight, 
and was almost famished, and so lost his understanding that he knew 
not on what day the Fight was " (Stoddard's Letter). This last was 
probably the man who, when he found his way of retreat to the 
horses cut off, leaped into a gully, and covered himself so effectually 
as to escape the notice of the keen-eyed savages. The gully is known 
as old soldier's hole to this day. 

Sergt. John Shattuck (son of William of Watertown), was one of 
the saved. He was despatched to the Bay with news of the defeat ;• 
and was drowned in crossing the ferry between Charlestown and 
Boston, Sept. 14. John Parke (son of Thomas of Cambridge vil- 
lage), was shot in the elbow joint, and his bone broken to pieces so 
that several of the pieces were taken out by the surgeon. He re- 
mained at Hadley till Maj. Appleton went down Nov. 24, at which 
time he and several other wounded men were sent home. 1 

John Harrington (son of Robert of Watertown), was wounded by 
two balls, but escaped, recovered, and lived to a good old age. 

Robert Pepper, before named, was wounded in the leg, but ma- 
naged to get into the crotch of a great tree which had fallen down, 
and lay there till he was discovered by Sagamore Sam, who dragged 
him out and abused him. After lying cold and hungry for two days, 
Sam took him into his own wigwam, not far off, and told him that if 
he did not die of his wound, he should not be killed. Afterwards he 
was treated kindly. The next January he was found in this saga- 
more's keeping, at Wennimisset, by James Quannapohit. In the mean 
time, as he informed the spy, he had been taken to Philip's quarters 
near Albany. " He saith that once since he was well, his master, 
carrying him abroad with him, left him at Squakeake, near where he 
was taken prisoner, his master wishing him to go to the English, 
whither there was a cart-way led ; but he was afraid the Indian did 
it to try his fidelity, and entrap him, and that if he should have gone 
away towards the English, they would have intercepted him !"* 
Mrs. Rowlandson saw him at the same place, February 12. He told 
her that " after his wounding he was not able to travel but as they 
carried him ; and that he took oak leaves and laid to his wound, and 
by the blessing of God, was soon able to travel again." 

Another captive, whose name cannot be ascertained, was tied to a 
tree, and reserved for torture- the next day ; but in the night a 

* Man. ytrcAives, ixix, 198. 

2 Manuscript copy of Relation, in Cenn. Archivti. 

78 History of Nortbfield. 

friendly Natick Indian (probably Peter Jethro, who was attached to 
the Nashaways at this time) let him loose, and he escaped. Still 
another captive was hung to the limb of a tree by a chain hooked 
into his jaw, in which position he was found, dead, by the relief party. 
And it is a current tradition that there were three others taken 
prisoners, who were burned to death at the stake ! x 

On the return to Hadley of the first fugitives (the 13 that escaped 
with their horses), with news of the disaster, preparation was made to 
send up a sufficient force to meet the emergency. Major Treat, 
who had arrived from Hartford on the 3d with his company, set out 
the next morning (Sabbath Sept. 5) with above 100 men. He camped 
for the night probably below Four-mile brook ; and the next day, 
Monday, pushed forward for Squakheag. As he reached the line of 
Beers's retreat, he saw the heads of many of the slain, which the 
savages had cut off, and stuck upon poles, standing in ghastly array 
beside the traveled path. He paused only long enough to perform 
hasty funeral rites. Arrived at the village, he found the stockade 
unbroken, and the inmates — who had been shut up there five days — 

A party of the soldiers and citizens went into the meadows (per- 
haps for grain for their horses), but hearing some guns fired about 
the fort, they ran up to see what was the matter, and by the way 
were fired upon by about 14 Indians as they judge, out of the bushes. 
Returning the fire, one or two Indians were slain. Major Treat was 
struck upon the thigh, the bullet piercing his clothes, but it had lost 
its force and did him no harm. Seeing the posture of affairs, he 
called his council together, and they concluded to bring off the gar- 
rison : so they came away the same night, taking what they could, 
but leaving the cattle there, 3 and the dead bodies unburied. (Stod- 
dard's Letter). 

This last statement probably refers to the bodies of the 8 men 
slain on the 2d. As they had been dead five days and may have been 
in an advanced state of decomposition, there is some excuse for neg- 

1 My brother, Sharon Field, lace of Northfield, led by the tradition to make search, found 
what he regarded as the place where three men perished by fire. There were three spots of 
dark earth mingled with fine bits of charcoal, near each other, and in one of them, while 
stirring up the ground, he found what appeared to be a melted pewter button. The loca- 
tion, and number of places of burnt earth agreed with the tradition. It was on the plain, 
east of where Jonathan Lyman now lives, and north of the old road that led up the mount- 
ain. — Dta. Phinthai Field. 

2 " Seventeen of their cattle came a great part of the way themselves, and have since been 
fetched into Hadley." — Stoddard. *» 

Squakheag. 79 

lecting the rite of sepulture. But no such reasons existed in the case 
of Capt. Beers and his men ; and the supposition is scarcely credible 
that the Major passed them in the morning without giving them a 
decent burial. And the tradition in regard to, and discovery of the 
grave in the ravine, with the head and foot-stones in place, and the 
signs of hasty interment, confirm the inference that the captain and 
his slain companions were committed to the earth. 

Where the numerous company of men, women and children, thus 
deserting their homes, camped for the night is not known. But the 
next day Major Treat was met by Capt. Appleton with a company 
of Massachusetts troops, that had been sent up after him. Capt. 
A. " would willingly have persuaded them to have turned back, 
to see if they could have made any spoil upon the enemy j but the 
greatest part advised to the contrary, so that they were all forced to 
return with what they could carry away, leaving the rest for a booty 
to the enemy." x 

After Major Treat left, the Indians burnt the fort and remaining 
houses at Squakheag. And thus this little village passed out of ex- 

[A brief notice of Capt. Richard Beers is in place here. In a 
petition to the General court, dated Watertown, 1664, he says : 
M Whereas y f pet r hath been an inhabitant of this jurisdiction ever 
since the beginning thereof, and according to his weak ability served 
the same, not only in times of peace, but also with his person in the 
Pequod War in two several designs when the Lord delivered them 
into our hands, as also upon his return such a weakness fell upon his 
body that for eight years space he was disabled to labor for his family, 
spending a great part of the little he had upon Physicians, and having 
hitherto not had any land of the country, and of the town but one and 
a half acres, besides that which he hath purchased," asks for a grant 
of land. The court granted him 300 acres. 

He served in the Pequod war in 1637 ; was licensed "to keep an 
ordinary" in Watertown in 1654, and continued in the business till 
his death. He was selectman 31 years; representative 13 years, 
holding both offices at the time of his death. He was on the com- 
mittee to lay out Quinsigamond in 1669, when he explored the 
country to the northwest and first visited Squakheag. He also served 
the colony in other important civil trusts. When news of the burn- 
ing of Brookfield reached Boston; Capt. Beers and his company 
were ordered westward. He left home Aug. 6 (having made his will 

1 Hubbarfi Narrative. 

80 History of Nortbfield. 

on that day), reached Brookfield the 7th, where he had head-quarters 
till the 23d, when he marched to Hadley. He was in command at 
the Swamp fight near Mount Wequomps, Aug. 25, and was killed 
at Squakheag Sept. 4. His age was about 63. He left a widow and 
8 children.] 

It would be gratifying if we could know the Indian side of this af- 
fair, and could state definitely who planned the attack on Squakheag, 
and the number of savages engaged in the fight with Capt. Beers. 
The whole thing was managed by the Indians with great adroitness, 
and their victory was complete. The writers of the time commonly 
took for granted that Philip was omnipresent ; but the facts — so far 
as facts were recorded — do not warrant such a conclusion. Indeed, 
positive evidence is wanting that he was in a single fight with the 
English in this valley. 

A like uncertainty exists in regard to the numbers engaged in the 
several assaults. The Indians never showed themselves in the open 
field. They always fought under some cover. The only means of 
judging of their numbers was from the report of their guns. In the 
excitement of the conflict cool calculation was impossible. And the 
published reports were too often the wild guesses of some escaped 
soldier, or the estimate of some friendly partisan, who would account 
for the defeat and destruction of our forces by the great superiority of 
their assailants. Hubbard says : " Capt. Beers and his men were 
set upon by many hundreds of the Indians out of the bushes by the 
swamp side." Mather says : " Hundreds of Indians from a thick 
swamp fired upon them." These two statements undoubtedly ex- 
press the belief of all parties interested. But the estimate is very 
indefinite. Besides the Squakheags, it is known that two bands of 
Nashaways, a part of the Quaboags, and a few Natick and Marl- 
borough Indians, were engaged in this affair. The Nashaways had 
at this date about 40 fighting men. If the Quaboags sent an equal 
force, the whole number that ambushed Capt. Beers must have been 
about 130. 

There is less uncertainty about the leaders in this assault, than 
about the numbers engaged. Robert Pepper, the spared captive, 
says that Sagamore Sam was in the fight. 1 And the Relation of 
James Quannapohit, 3 who was sent out into these parts as a spy, by 
Major Gookin, the succeeding January, gives sufficient particulars to 

1 See ante, p. 77. 

* James Quannapohit was a friend and former companion in arms of this sachem : his 
story, as events proved, was entirely reliable ; and he had sufficient shrewdness to detect any 
attempt at imposition on his credulity. 

Squakheag. 8 1 

make it certain that One-eyed John was also here. He says he was 
in the fight with Capt. Beers ; and the inherent probabilities confirm 
the declaration. The cutting off the heads of the slain English, and 
setting them upon poles, was his method of treating the dead in all 
his successful assaults. 

The Indian name of this chieftain was Monaco, The seat of his 
tribe was at Nashaway (Lancaster). He was an experienced war- 
rior, having been one of the braves that went on the expedition against 
the Mohawks in 1669. He was one of the first to take up the 
hatchet in the summer of 1675 ; was blood thirsty and cruel in the 
last degree. He led the attack on the town of Lancaster, Aug. 22, 
where 8 persons M were slain and mangled in a barbarous manner." 
He was at Squakheag in the assaults of Sept. 2 and 4 ; was at the 
Bloody brook massacre Sept. 18 ; x took part in the attack on Lan- 
caster Feb. 10 ; boasted that he was at Medfield Feb. 21 ; was 
certainly in command of the savages that destroyed Groton March 
13, 1676 j and may have been in other engagements. When the 
tide of success was turning against the Indians in the summer of 
this year, Monoco and his tribe, with the others living about Lan- 
caster, " did cunningly endeavor to hide themselves amongst those 
Indians about Pascataqua, that had newly made their submission to 
the English, by Maj. Waldern's means, and concluded a Peace. " a By 
a statagem, of questionable propriety even in war, these Indians, to 
the number of 400, were entrapped by Maj. Waldron at Cocheco 
(Dover, N. H.), Sept. 6, 1676.3 

Monoco, alias One-eyed John, and 8 others of the leaders were 
hanged in Boston, Sept. 26, 1676. With all his bloodthirstiness, 
this savage had one redeeming trait ; he was true to an early friend- 
ship. James Quannapohit (before named) a Natick Indian, and he 
were boys together ; hunted together i were together in the expedi- 
tion against the Mohawks. And when James joined the Praying 
Indians, and became, in the estimation of Philip, a traitor, on whose 
head a price was set, Monoco stood up for him ; and to a proposition 
of some to kill him or send him to Philip, he answered " I will kill 
whomsoever shall kill Quannapohit." 4 

The other Nashaway chief who took part in the battle of Beers's 

'James Quannapohit's Relation. 

* Drake' t Hubbard, n, 1 3 1. 

* ** The English commanders got up a mock training, and invited the Indians to take part 
in it. This they assented to ; and in the sham fight which was to close the exercises, were 
ail made prisoners. " — S. G. Drake, note to Hubbard's Narrative. 

* Guokin't Praying InJiant. 


82 History of Northfield. 

plain was Uskatugun, better known by his English name of Sagamore 
Sam (when he was first appointed sachem of his tribe, he was called 
Shoshanim). The head-quarters of his tribe was near the Washakum 
ponds in Lancaster. He seems to have shared the honors with his 
ally, One-eyed John, in many raids ; and he made some daring expe- 
ditions of his own. His treatment of Robert Pepper has been al- 
ready narrated. In the course of the autumn, he went (taking Pepper 
with him) to visit King Philip in the neighborhood of Albany ; and 
in January he was at Wenimisset. Feb. 10, he was in command of 
the large force that assaulted Lancaster ; Feb. 21, he was with 
Monoco in the attack on Mediield, and probably in command of the 
united clans. He was prominent in securing the redemption of Mrs. 
Rowlandson, early in May, some of the letters to the council being 
signed by him. In the summer, he and his clan went to the east- 
ward ; were made prisoners at Cocheco, Sept. 6, and he was hanged 
at Boston, with the other chiefs, Sept. 26. 

The number of Indians killed in the Beers fight was reported by 
the fugitive English to be 25, one of them "a great captain.". 
Monoco told James Quannapohit that he lost only one. The other 
clans probably lost more ; but the true total cannot be known. In 
all their skirmishes the Indians carefully conceal their losses. When 
one is shot down, his nearest comrade crawls to him, and fixing a 
tump line to the body, slowly drags it to the rear. Except in some few 
instances, where the whites came upon them by surprise, and drove 
the Indians from their position, the number of the killed and wounded 
in an action, was never known. And the common estimates were pro- 
bably twice or thrice too large. If a captive squaw or wounded brave 
confessed to a given number of his comrades killed, it was such a 
number as would please his captors, and, as he shrewdly supposed, 
might help to mitigate his fate. 

The Squakheag families, having been driven from their new homes, 
returned to their old homes in Hadley and Northampton. 

The Indians, (lushed by the success that had thus far attended all 
their hostile plans, took quiet possession of their old hunting grounds. 
The Nashaways, and their allies, brought on their families, and set up 
their wigwams, near the deserted English fields, and lived on the 
spoil, and watched the neighboring settlements. Major Pynchon, 
writing Sept. 8, says: " And when we go out after the Indians, they 
do so skulk in swamps, we cannot find them ; and yet do waylay our 
people to their destruction." 

Squakheag. 8 3 

The attempt, Sept. 18, to bring off the year's crop of grain from 
Deerfield, to meet the unexpected demand for food at Hadley and 
Northampton, caused by the influx of fugitives from Northfield, and 
the troops quartered there, furnished the savages the coveted oppor- 
tunity for another ambuscade ; and the English captains seem to have 
learned no lessons of caution from their previous disasters. The 
destruction, at Bloody brook, of Capt. Lathrop and his company of 
young men, appropriately styled " the flower of Essex county," was 
a natural consequence of want of circumspection, and added another 
to the list of Indian surprises and victories. 1 And this distressing 
affair rendered necessary the abandonment of the settlement at Deer- 
field. Thus in less than two months, three frontier towns had been 
destroyed, and no less than 127 lives sacrificed — to which 21 more 
were to be added before the end of October. Of this 148 slain, 44 
were inhabitants of the county, the rest being soldiers from other parts 
of the colony. 

The savages were always on the alert, and usually appeared just 
when and where they were least expected. Springfield was burnt 
Oct. 5, the very day on which an attack on Hadley from the north 
was expected. An extract from a letter written by Maj. John 
Pynchon, dated Hadley, Sept. 30, will give a vivid picture of the 
situation : " We are endeavoring to discover the enemy, and daily 
send out scouts, but little is effected. Our English are somewhat 
awk and. fearful in scouting and spying, though we do the best we 
can. We have no Indian friends here to help us. We find the In- 
dians have their scouts out. Two days ago, two Englishmen at 
Northampton, being gone out in the morning to cut wood, and but a 
little from the house, were both shot down, having two bullets apiece 
shot into each of their breasts. The Indians cut off their scalps, 
took their arms, and were ofF in a trice." Oct. 19, Hatfield was 
assaulted ; 7 were killed, and 2 taken captive, and carried towards 

In the early part of November, the Nashaways returned eastward, 
and with the Quaboags took up winter quarters at Wenimisset. 
The River Indians proper had previously gathered at Coasset, which 
was a piece of pine woods on the west bank of the Connecticut a 
little above the South Vernon railroad station, then in Northfield, 
now in Vernon, Vt. Philip and his band were here with them for a 
short time ; but he soon moved off" towards Albany with his own 

1 One-eyed John and Sagamore Sam, with their bands, were in this fight with Capt. Lath- 
rop. The former lost one of" his men. 

84 History of Nortbfield. 

warriors, and a considerable part of the Pacomptocks and their allies. 
James Quannapohit in his Relation says : " Some of the River Indians 
with Sancumachu had winter-quarters near Albany with King Philip." 
Gov. Andross writes: 

" New York Jan. 6, 1676. 
" This is to acquaint you that late last night I had intelligence that 
Philip and 4 or 500 North Indians, 1 righting men, were come within 
40 or 50 miles of Albany northerly, where they talk of continuing 
this winter : that Philip is sick, and one Sahamoschaha the com- 
mander in chief." 3 

The Squakheags made their winter-quarters at the Coasset before 
named. Probably the old men and some of the women and child- 
ren of Philip's party and of the Pacomptocks, staid here. Food was 
plenty. The cattle and hogs captured at our village and at Deerfield 
lasted for a while. The corn and wheat taken at the same places 
lasted longer. And it is an attested historical fact that deer and other 
game were unusually abundant, and owing to the depth of snow, were 
easily caught. 

Winter set in early and with uncommon severity. Travel was 
next to impossible, except upon rackets ; and both whites and Indians 
kept in close quarters till the latter part of January, when a sudden 
thaw cleared off the snow. 

The destruction of the Narragansett fort in Rhode Island by an 
army of Massachusetts, Plymouth and Connecticut troops, under 
Gen. Josiah Winslow, the 19th of the preceding December, changed 
directly the whole aspect of Indian hostilities, and led to a great 
gathering of the tribes at Squakheag. 

The Narragansetts had thus far stood aloof from Philip's cause, or 
only aided him indirectly. Now that the English had commenced a 
war of extermination against them, it was plain policy to unite their 
fortunes with the Sachem of Mt. Hope. In the latter part of Janu- 
ary the larger part of this tribe, viz., those that adhered to Canonchet, 
are found on their way to the Nipmuck head-quarters near Quaboag. 
Pessacus, a brother of Miantonimoh, and Quinnapin, 3 who had mar- 

1 Philip had about ioo; and Sancumachu not over 150 men. 

2 It is quite likely that the Nonotuck sachem was in command ; and Philip may have had 
reasons of state for reporting himself sick. It will be noticed that the date of this letter 
only determines when the intelligence from Philip was received by the governor. He had 
been in that region more than a month. 

3 The reader of Mrs. Rowlandson's Narrative, will remember that this Quinnapin bought 
Mrs. R. of her Narragansett captor ; and that his squaw, M the proud dame Wettimore," 
was her mistress during her captivity. 

Squakbeag. 8 5 

ried Weetamoo, a sister-in-law of Philip, were with Canonchet, and 
had a considerable number of personal adherents. They reached 
the camp north of Brookfield near the middle of February, where 
they remained about two weeks. The Nashaways left Wenimisset 
Feb. 9, to attack Lancaster, and watch the Massachusetts Bay force 
which was preparing to invade the Nipmuck country. Ascertaining 
from scouts that the mounted troops under Maj. Thomas Savage 
were to march for Quaboag about the 28th, the main body of In- 
dians at Wenimisset started on the 27th for the north. This band 
comprised the Quaboags, the Narragansetts, some Grafton Indians, 
and a miscellaneous crowd, in all not less than 2000 souls. 1 

Major Savage reached Quaboag March 2, where he met the Con- 
necticut troops under Major Treat. The united forces went to 
Wenimisset, but " found no Indians." They then pushed towards 
Paquayag : but the savages, by a feigned attack, drew them off on a 
wrong trail, so that the whole great company of Indians got over 
Miller's river, and out of harm's way, before the Major came to the 
fording place, March 6. 

This manoeuvre of the Indians, by which our troops were success- 
fully foiled, deserves a more detailed notice in this connection. 
When the English army, under Majors Savage and Treat, started 
from Quaboag March 3, the Indians were encamped in a swamp 
about 17 miles away and 8 miles south of Paquayag. They were 
encumbered by "the old and the young, some sick and some lame, 
many had pappooses at their backs ; the greatest number (at this time 
with us) were squaws, and they travelled with all they had, bag and 
baggage." " Some carried their old decrepit mothers, some carried one 
and some another. Four of them carried a great Indian upon a bier ; 
but going through a thick wood they were hindered and could make 
no haste, whereupon they took him upon their backs, and carried him . 
one at a time, till we came to Bacquag river."" 

They reached this river a little after noon, on the 3d. This was 
on Friday ; and the making of rafts and ferriage of this vast multi- 
tude took till Sabbath evening. Where, all this while, were our Eng- 
lish dragoons ? Mrs. Rowlandson says : " The Indians chose out 
some of their stoutest men, and sent them back to hold the English 
army in play whilst the rest escaped." This covering party, in 
conjunction with the scouts left near Wenimisset, kept Maj. Savage 
at bay, or on false scents for two whole days, so that they did not 

1 This enumeration is based on the statements of the two spies, as corroborated by Gookin 
and other authorities. It is believed to be under rather than over the true number. 
1 Mrs. Rowlandsonla Narrative. 

$6 History of Northfield. 

reach Paquayag till some time in the forenoon of Monday. As they 
came up to the river they saw on the other side the smoke of the 
wigwams, which the retreating Indians had set fire to ; but they did 
not cross. Our authoress writes: "this river put a stop to them. 
God did not give them courage or activity to go over after us." It 
should be said, that the river was swollen by the spring freshet, and 
crossing by horse must have been difficult and hazardous. The 
Massachusetts council were deeply chagrined at the signal failure of 
this expedition. In a letter to Maj. Savage at Hadley, dated March 
31, they say: — " Leaving Capt. Turner in Capt. Poole's place, with 
the rest of the army we expressly command you to draw homeward, 
and endeavor in your return to visit the enemy about Pachquake 
(Paquayag), and be careful not to be deceived by their lapwing 
statagems, by drawing you off from the rest to follow some men." 1 
The Indians, relieved from pursuit, went leisurely to Squakheag, 
which they reached the next day, Mar. 7. 

In the mean time, Philip and his allies had returned to the Con- 
necticut valley. According to some authorities he was attacked by 
the Mohawks and driven from his winter quarters above Albany.* 
However this may be, word was sent him by Mautamp the Qua- 
boag sachem, that the Narragansetts had broken with the English, 
and advising him to meet them at Squakheag. 3 He reached here the 
middle of February. He staid about 3 weeks on the fortified bluff 
known as Philip's hill, which he left Mar. 8, and moved up the river 
4 or 5 miles to the.Coasset, before named, where he remained till 
about April 10. 

The gathering of the Indians here was a notable event of the war, 
and memorable in the annals of Squakheag. The head chiefs of two 
of the leading New England tribes, the Wampanoags and the Nar- 
ragansetts, here joined hands and hearts for the struggle, which both 
of them knew was for life or death. All the personal adherents of 
Philip and his kinsman Quinnapin, appear to have been in attendance 
with their chiefs. Canonchet, son of the renowned Miantonimoh, and 
hereditary sachem of the Narragansetts, was attended by the flower 
of that once terrible clan. His uncle Pessacus, now just passed the 
prime of life, 4 was with him, in the capacity of chief counsellor. 
Sancumachu, a Nonotuck sachem, and now the acknowledged leader 
of the Pacomptocks and Agawams, was here with a considerable part 

l Mass. Archivei, lxviii, 192. 

' Drake 1 Hubbard, I, 217. 

' Ouannapohit's Relation, Ms. copy, in Conn. Archivei. 

* He was born about 1623 

Squakbeag. 87 

of the united tribes. Mautamp and his Quaboags, now firm sup- 
porters of Philip, were here. Some of the Nashaways, Hassaname- 
setts, Naticks, and stragglers from other clans were here, making, 
with the Squakheags, an immense multitude. From reliable data, it 
is believed that from the 9th to the 25th of March, there were not 
less than 2500 Indians, including women and children, at Nawelet's 
old village sites about the mouth of the Ashuelot and on the opposite 
side of the Connecticut. Mrs. Rowlandson could well say, as she 
started to cross the river near Rock island, " I could not but be 
amazed at the numerous crew of pagans that were on the bank on 
the other side." Yet the company that came with her was more 
than double in numbers to the company already there. 

It was a critical time with the savages. The chiefs had to deter- 
mine two important matters, viz., the plan of the season's campaign ; 
and how to make secure and provide subsistence for the non-comba- 
tants, who largely outnumbered the warriors. 

The snow was gone ; and with it the deer and the larger game 
disappeared in the forests. The stock of grain was substantially con- 
sumed ; and they were now feeding on groundnuts, and the peas, 
horses and sheep stolen in the raids upon Northampton, and the ad- 
jacent settlements. When Philip invited Mrs. Rowlandson to dine 
with him, he gave her " a pancake, about as big as two fingers ; it 
was made of parched wheat, beaten, and fried in bear's grease." 
Scouting and raiding parties were kept out all the time. Northamp- 
ton was assailed March 14. But besides burning buildings, and kill- 
ing a few settlers and soldiers, they made no great spoil. 

At a council of chiefs, it was decided to hold this part of the valley 
as a common rendezvous, and an abiding-place for the old men, 
squaws and children. They could eke out a living till the fishing 
season came ; after which they had no reason to fear a scarcity of 
provisions till the last of summer. To insure supplies for the autumn 
and winter, Canonchet, who appears to have been the master-spirit, 
proposed in the council that all the west-plantations upon Connecticut 
river, formerly occupied as fields by the Indians, and recently taken 
from the English, should be planted with Indian corn. 1 As the last 
year's crop was gone, it was a problem how seed should be obtained. 
There was abundance in store at Seaconk } but none were willing to. 
run the hazard of fetching it thence. As narrated in a preceding 
chapter, Canonchet offered to go with a band of 30 men, and bring 
up the required amount. He left Squakheag about the 25th of 

4 Drake's Hubbard, il, 56. 

88 History of Northfield. 

March ; was deserted by a part of his men ; was surprised by the 
English at Pawtucket ; was taken to Stonington, where he was exe- 
cuted, and his head sent to Hartford. 1 The Indians however, pro- 
cured a sufficiency of seed-corn. Quinnapin's maid went to the 
Narragansett country, and after an absence of three weeks, returned 
with a peck and a half. Perhaps Canonchet's <nen brought what 
more was needed. 

This month of March, 1676, was a dark time for the Massa- 
chusetts and Plymouth colonies. The Nashaways and their allies, 
from their fastnesses near Wachusett, destroyed Groton the 13th, 
and were threatening other towns : a force of Narragansetts was 
burning and slaying near Providence ; and the Nipnets were at work 
around Springfield. The authorities at Boston appear to have been 
ignorant of the whereabouts of Philip ; and imagined him to be in 
command wherever mischief was done. In this state of uncertainty 
and difficulty of raising sufficient troops to protect the widely scat- 
tered points of exposure, the Massachusetts council proposed to bring 
the five remaining towns of Hampshire county into two. Northamp- 
ton and Hatfield were to concentrate at Hadley ; Westfield was to 
be transferred to Springfield. The Northampton and Westfield 
people strongly remonstrated against removal ; and their cause being 
espoused by the Connecticut council, the plan was abandoned. 

There was now a large number of English prisoners in the hands 
of the Indians at Squakheag and Pacomptock. Thomas Eames's 
two daughters, taken at Framingham Feb. 1 ; those taken at Lan- 
caster Feb. 10, and at Mcdfield Feb. 21 ; some from Springfield, 
and others, were at one or other of the Indian camps. 

March 28, the Connecticut council sent the following letter to the 
chiefs at Squakheag : 

To Sucquance,'- Wequaquat,^ Sangumachu 4 and Wanchequit 5 at Suckquaclc- 
heage, thefe : — Intelligence is come to us that you have some Englifh (efpe- 
cially women and children) in captivity among you. We therefore fend this 
mefsenger, offering to redeem them either for payment in goods or wampum, 
or by exchange of prifoners. 

We defire y r ans r to this our mefsenger, what price you demand for every 
man, woman and child, or if you will exchange for Indians. 

1 Drake 'x Hubbard, i, i8l: u, 59, 60. 
1 The tame as Pessacus. 

3 A Springfield sachem. 

4 A Nonotuck sachem. 
s A Squakheag sachem. 

Squakbeag. 89 

If you have any among you that can write y* ans* to this our mefsage, we de- 
fire it in writing, and to that end have fent paper pen and ink by the mefsenger. 

If you let our mefsenger have freeaccefs to you and freedom to a fafe return, 
we are willing to do the like to any mefsenger of yours — Provided he come 
unarmed, and carry a white flag upon a ftaff vifible to be feen." 

A written answer to this proposal was received at Hartford, by the 
hand of Tiawakesson x April 30. The answer was evasive ; its im- 
port being to ascertain what the English were willing to pay, rather 
than to fix a price for captives. Probably the real object was delay. 
The next day, May 1, a second letter, of similar import as the first 
(only the head chief " at Suckquackheage " was called Pessacus in- 
stead of Sucquance) was sent by Tiawakesson ; and an answer was 
demanded within 5 days. Here the correspondence ended. — Some 
of the captives escaped ; some were afterwards redeemed ; and some 
(including Thomas Eames's oldest daughter) never returned. 

As before stated, Philip and Quinnapin, with their warriors and a 
part of the younger squaws, and a considerable band of Narragansetts, 
left the valley about the 10th of April, and started for Paquayag and 

The names of the sachems left in command, are given in the 
letter from the Connecticut council already quoted. Pessacus, from his 
high birth or age, or both, appears to have been the recognized head 
chieftain. He remained, with a large portion of the Narragansetts, 
through the spring. Besides the two names given in the text, he is 
salso known as Sucquanch, Cosucquanch, and Mossup. Rev. Jame 
Fitch, writing May 29, says : " Philip's men and the Narragansetts 
are generally come to Wachusett and Quaboag ; only Pessicus one 
of the chief of the Narragansett sachems did abide up at Pocomptock 
with some few of his men." 2 In August, Menowniett in his testi- 
mony says : " Ninety North Indians, and Sucquance with them are 
gone to Paquayag on the Hudson river. He (Sucquance) is very sick." 3 
The next year he was killed by the Mohawks, in the wilderness 
about 20 miles above Piscataqua, when going eastward, and was 
buried by order of Maj. Waldron. 4 

1 Hit mme it sometimes written Watawaikeson. He is styled " agent of Pessacus," 
" messenger of Sucquance." He was a Narragansett; a counsellor of Sunck Squaw, and a 
man of great native shrewdness. He left Squakheag in June ; was slain Sabbath, July 2, 
1676, with Sunck Squaw, and others. — Conn. Col. Rec, 11, 458. 

* Conn. Col. Rec., 11, 447. 

3 Conn. Col. Ret., II, 472. 

« S. G. Drake in Book of the Indian. 

90 History of Nortbfield. 

An Indian, captured by Capt. Holyoke near Skipmuck, April 27, 
stated to Samuel Marshfield, that the Indians " had three forts this 
side Wassquackheag ; that the number of Indians at Deerfield and 
on the river was 3000, of whom 1000 were men. He saith there 
are none but our River Indians, the Narragansetts, Nipnets, Quaboags, 
and such tribes as are known to us, that are engaged in the war. 
They are bare of provisions, but furnished with ammunition by the 
Dutch. 1 He saith they for the most part are desirous of peace if the 
English would propound for it ; that they would socn bring in Philip's 
head if that would be acceptable to procure peace. He saith there 
are many lurking about the towns. He saith that one of the forts is 
near the river bank, the other two are not far one from the other." 3 
These confessions of Indian prisoners are not reliable. But subse- 
quent events proved that many of these statements were true ; and 
that the numbers were not greatly exaggerated. ... 

About the first of May, the Indians appear to have separated into 
four principal parties. One remained at Squakheag, for planting and 
fishing ; one went to Pacomptock, mainly for planting ; one to Pa- 
quayag, for the same ; and a large crowd gathered at Pasquamscut 
falls, for fishing. The parties at Pacomptock and Squakheag began 
planting their corn the 9th or 10th of May ; and before the end of 
two weeks they had finished planting a wide area. Rev. Mr. Rus- 
sell writes, May 22 : " Our scouts report that they have planted as 
is judged 300 acres of choice ground at Deerfield." This estimate 
was probably three times too large. No estimate of the number of 
acres planted at Squakheag has been discovered. As our clans were 
largely engaged in catching and drying fish, their cornfields were 
probably less in extent than those at Deerfield. 

This was a busy and joyous time along the banks of the river, from 
the mouth of Pauchaug brook to the head of Elmer's island. The 
red man's chief desire for " plenty to eat," was daily met by the up- 
ward rush of shad and salmon ; and all anxiety for the immediate 
future was relieved by the surplus which his squaw would hang up to 
dry in the smoke of his wigwam fire. He was in safe quarters. 
For the bands stationed below were an effectual guard against sur- 
prise by the whites. The whole of the planting and fishing season 
passed ; and the Indians here were not disturbed. 

1 The Dutch sold powder and lead to the Mohawks, who, in turn sold to our Indians, so 
that Gov. Andross's indignant denial of the charge that «« the Albany people supplied our 
enemies with ammunition," was both true and false. 

* Mass. Archivts, lxviii, ooa. . 

Squakheag. q i 

But evil was impending over the fishing party at the falls, below 
the mouth of Miller's river. Rev. Mr. Russell of Hadley wrote, 
under date of May 15, 1676: "This morning about sunrise came 
into Hatfield one Thomas Reede a soldier who was taken captive 
when Deacon Goodman was slain (at Hoclcanum, about the first of 
April). He relates that they are now planting at Deerfieid and have 
been so these three or four days or more — saith further that they 
dwell at the falls on both sides the river — are a considerable num- 
ber, yet most of them old men and women. He cannot judge that 
there are on both sides the river (at the falls) above 60 or 70 fighting 
men. They are secure and scornful ; boasting of great things they 
have done, and will do. There is Thomas Eames's daughter and 
her child (a younger sister) hardly used ; one or two belonging to 
Medfield, and I think two children belonging to Lancaster. The 
night before last they came down to Hatfield upper meadow, and 
have driven away many horses and cattle, to the number of four score 
and upwards as they judge. Many of these this man saw in Deer- 
field meadow, and found the bars put up to keep them in. This 
being the state of things, we think the Lord calls us to make some 
trial what may be done against them suddenly, without further delay ; 
and therefore the concurring resolution of men here seems to be to 
go out against them to-morrow night so as to be with them, the 
Lord assisting, before break of day." This purpose of the Hadley 
people was carried out three days later. 

There were special reasons why the Indians felt secure just at this 
time. Most of the Massachusetts troops under Maj. Savage, and 
the Connecticut troops under Maj. Treat had been withdrawn, and 
returned home. Only about 160 men, under command of Capt. 
William Turner, now garrisoned the Hampshire towns. Besides, 
negociations for the redemption of captives were pending between 
the Connecticut authorities and the Indian chiefs ; and it was pre- 
sumable that no hostilities would be commenced against the Indians 
till this matter was arranged. And on the night of the 18th, the 
party at the falls had gorged themselves " with new milk and roast 
beef, having lately driven away from Hatfield many of their milch 
cows, as an English woman confessed that was made to milk them." 1 

At this fortunate juncture, about 160 mounted men — one half 
inhabitants and one half soldiers — under Cant. William Turner and 
Capt. Samuel Holyoke, started Thursday evening May 18, for the 
Indian fishing camp. With Benjamin Wait and Experience Hins- 

1 Drake'* Hubbard, I, 130. 

92 History of Nortbfield. 

dale as guides, the troops left Hatfield, marched up the west side of 
the river, crossed the Deerfield and Green rivers, and halted about 
half a mile from the head of the falls. Leaving their horses a little 
to the west of Fall river, under a small guard, they climbed an abrupt 
hill and came upon the back of the camp about day-break. " They 
found the Indians secure, yea all asleep without having any scouts 
abroad ; so that our soldiers came and put their guns into their wig- 
wams, before the Indians were aware of them, and made a great and 
notable slaughter." 1 

" Some got out of the wigwams and fought, and killed one of the 
English ; others did enter the river to swim over from the English, 
but many were shot dead in the waters, others wounded were therein 
drowned, many got into canoes to paddle away, but the paddlers 
being shot, the canoes overset with all therein ; and the stream being 
violent and swift near the falls, most that fell overboard were carried 
upon the falls. Others of them creeping for shelter under the banks 
of the great River, were espied by our men and killed with their 
swords ; Capt. Holyoke killing five, young and old, with his own 

The victory seemed complete. But just as our troops were about 
to retire to their horses, a report was started that Philip with a thou- 
sand Indians was approaching ; and " a panic terror fell upon many 
of them, and they hastened homewards in a confused route." Capt. 
Turner and 37 of his men were slain — all but one after they left 
the falls. The loss of the Indians was much greater. Menowniet 
testified that 40 Norwottucks (meaning River Indians) and Quaboags, 
and 10 Narragansetts were slain at the falls. This included only 
warriors, and was probably 10 below the actual loss. The number 
of women and children, shot in the wigwams, and destroyed in the 
attempt to cross the river was estimated as high as 150. Mr. Judd, 
who carefully analyzed the facts, concludes that " 180 Indians, old 
and young, perished at the falls that morning." It was their heaviest 
loss in any action during the war, in these parts : and one from which 
they never recovered. 3 

» Mather's Brief History. 

1 Drake's Hubbard, I, 131. 

'Of the men, directly connected with Northfield history, in this fight, were Nathaniel 
Alexander, James Bennett, Philip Mattoon, Joseph Kellogg, Samuel Boltwood, Stephen 
Belding, Wm. Clarke, John Lyman, Cornelius Merry, Joseph Warriner. In 1736, the 
General court granted to the survivors of this fight, and their descendants, a township, 
which in commemoration of" the event was named Fall-town, since incorporated under the 
name of Bernardston. * 

Squakbcag. c; 3 

The savages however, were not yet disheartened. They quickly 
gathered at least 250 warriors ; and oa the 30th of May appeared at 
Hatfield, where they burnt many houses, killed 5 men, and drove 
away many horses and cattle. 
..-The same party attacked Hadley June 12, but were repulsed. 

Ho account can be gleaned from any sources, of the nnal departure 
of the Indians from their rendezvous at Cowasset and near the Great 
bend. They are known to have remained here till about the first of 


The death of Fung Philip, August 12, was the signal for the gene- 
ral dispersion of the savages in this quarter. But before the news 
could have reached Hadley, Capt. Swain had sent out a company of 
30 men to cut down rhe growing corn, and destroy the dried fish at 
Squakheag. They finished this work by the 15th of August, but 
saw no Indians. 

- v.) 

B4q33jj #WHW J(BS : 

.- •T^>*-->-* 

An Indian Four. 


Resettlement of Squakbeag, 16S5-90. 

The Committee's Power extended— Rules for. Slttlck.s — Land Chants — 
Names of Grantees — The Town Bounds extended Sol'Thw^k-d — Divi- 
sion of Outlands — Fok.t — Mills — New Deed fk.oj.1 Massemet — 1'la.n 
of Town Street — Purchase of Nawclet's Land — Killing qv Six Persons 
by Indians — Andros's Visit to Hadley — Rev. Wahham Math ex. — Tej- 


FTER its desertion and destruction in 1675, the town 
u by waste " for 7 years, before any movement for re- 
settlement was made. In the mean time two members of 
the Committee in charge of the plantation, viz., William 
Alias and Isaac Graves had died ; and of the settlers, Samuel Wright, 
Joseph Dickinson and James Bennett were killed by the Indians, as 
before narrated. Others had given up their rights and settled perma- 
nently elsewhere. Most of the proprietors, ur their heirs, however, 
still held on to their grants, and at no time relinquished the purpose 
of rebuilding the town. 

16S2. As preliminary to a resettlement of the place, in the spring 
of 16S2 the original proprietors sent a petition to the General court, 
asking; that the vacancies in the Committee mi»ht be filled, and the 
Committee impowered to act in the premises. And at its sessiou 
May 24th, the court ordered : 

44 Whereas, upon the petition of the inhabitant: of Northampton and others, 
in 1672, a plantation was granted to them upon Connecticut River, .it .1 place 
there called Smiaheage, and a Committee appointed and empowered by this 
Court to order and regulate the affairs of t!uc plantation till this Court u»s 
further order — now, forufmuch as the major par: of laid Committee are dead, 
upon the petition of the proprietors, this Court judgelh it ;--■-•: and do hereby 
nominaccand appoint Entign John Lyman, Surg 1 John King ar.J Sen;' Preie.-Vii 
Clap to fupply the place of the deceafed, and to join with tl.e remaining part 
of the former Committee, and that they or the major part of ciiem Hull uav; 
the full power of the former Committee.'' 

It is not known that the Committee tool, any definitive actios 
during this year. 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 95 

1683. In the spring of 1683, 

"The Committee with the proprietors, having met feveral times about it, and 
after much agitation, they ordered and agreed as follows : 

1 . That there lhall be 40 familys fetded in the town plot, and every man to 
have an equal proportion, and every home-lot to be 20 rods wide. 

2. They did agree to throw up Pauchaugand the upper divifion in the Great 
Meadow by the town, to incourage more inhabitants to join with them for the 
better fettling of the place. 

3. That every perfon that has 60 acres granted of interval land, ihall fettle 
two inhabitants upon it. 

4. They did alfo agree to go again thither with their families, by the 10th 
day of May 1686, or else to leave their lands. 

5. That if there be any alter their minds, or not performing the condition of 
fetding two familys upon 60 acres, they (hall have the remainder of their land 
at the further end of the plantation." 

" After thefe orders and agreements above written, we granted lots as 
followeth, that is to fay, only interval land [in addition to home lots] : — 

Names. Acres. Names. Acres. 

Enfign John Lyman 45 Samuel Boltwood 30 

Jofcph Parfons Sen. 90 John Taylor 30 

Mr. William Janes 60 John Woodward , 35 

George Alexander 60 Benjamin Palmer 30 

Samuel Wright's heirs 60 Richard Francis 36 

John Alexander 35 Ifaac Warner 30 

Robert Lyman 40 Richard Lyman 35 

William Miller 55 Jofeph Pumery 36 

Jofeph Dickinfon's heirs 50 Eleazar Warner ... 20 

Ralph Hutchinfon 40 John Hutchinfon 25 

Micah Mudge 30 Thomas Hunt 20 

Cornelius Merry 30 Daniel Warner 20 

JohnHilyard 30 William Gurley 25 

Thomas Webfter 35 Zachery Lawrence 25 

William Clarke 40 John Marfh 35 

SamuelDavis 30 Benjamin Wright 30 

Nath 1 Alexander 40 Ebenezer Wright 30 

John Clary Jr 50 

Ensign Lyman was to have 15 acres, or its equivalent, in addition 
to the 45. And in Feb. 1684, "it was then granted to Ensign Ly- 
man a swamp of 60 acres at the lower end of the Great Meadow, as 
part of the 15 acres that is in addition to his grant." 

John Clary Jr. was entitled to but 30 acres ; and the 20 addi- 
tional was granted " on condition that he build a grist-mill for the 
use of the inhabitants." 

Joseph Dickinson was represented here by his son Samuel. 

Samuel Janes took one of his father's rights, and the home-lot next 
north of the one on which the Elder built in 1673 was assigned to 

96 History of Nortbfield. 

Ebenezer Wright went up with the first company, but did not 

Several of the engagers altered their minds, and did not remove to 
Northfield. Eleazar Warner forfeited his land, both home-lot and 
meadow, and it was afterwards granted to William Weeks j Thomas 
Hunt's land was forfeited and alienated to John Lyman (Robert's 
son) ; John Taylor's land was forfeited and alienated to Samuel 
Boltwood ; Samuel Boltwood's first pitch was forfeited and alienated 
to John Holmes ; Joseph Pumery's to Joseph Warriner ; John 
Marsh's to Richard Lyman, and the lot first assigned to Richard 
Lyman to Jacob Root ; William Gurley's to Joseph Root (both 
home-lot and meadow). 

Some of the above changes, and others of a similar kind, did not 
take place till 1685 and '86. In the latter year, "the home-lot 
granted and laid out to Richard Francis, was granted to John Clary 
Jr., in addition to his home-lot, making it extend north to the Mill 
brook, in lieu of 2 acres of interval and the Island lying at the turn 
of the Great River above Ashuelot river.'* 

March 18, 1686, " A grant of a home-lot and that Island com- 
monly called Mr. Janes's Island, lying a little above Pauchaug," was 
made to Joseph Janes : and a home-lot and 20 acres of interval was 
granted to Judah Hutchinson. Hutchinson took up his home-lot, but 
Janes did not. Samuel King had a grant of 25 acres, Thomas Root 
of 20 acres, Sam 1 Hutchinson and Sam 1 Lyman of 15 acres each, 
which were severally laid out " in the Three Little Meadows below the 
town plot," and they were w accepted as inhabitants," though they 
had no home-lots, and put up no buildings. At the same time, grants 
of 10 acres each were made to William Clarke Jr., Robert Poag, 
Steven Jennings and Samuel Taylor, which were laid out " on the 
north side of Four-mile brook." And the names of James Corse, 
John Kingsley, Joseph Sheldon and Thomas Root Jr. are found on 
the Committee's records, but no lands were assigned them. 

April 1687, Moses Lyman received a grant of "a home-lot and 
20 acres of upland." He was here in 1688, but his home- lot has not 
been identified. 

1684. The project made little advance this season, and the Com- 
mittee met with many discouragements. 

Feb. 13, 1684. The Committee then granted to Micah Mudge 6 
acres upon the Moose plain. 

May 28, 1684. " We whose names are under written have layed 
out the highways of Squakeage town plot 10 rods wide through the 

Resettle?nent of Squakheag. 97 

town, and a highway on the north side of Micah Mudge's home-lot 
and the south side of John Alexander's home-lot 10 rods wide to the 
meadow fence west, and so it runs into the woods eastward. 

Micah Mudge 
John Brouchton 
Benjamin Wright" 

There is reason to believe that some of the grantees spent more 
or less time upon the ground this year, and that some lands were 
broken up, perhaps some crops put in, and preparation made for 
building houses. Probably the meadows were burned over in the 
autumn, after the custom of the Indians. The last of November 
was the date fixed by the Committee from which to reckon the four 
years, at the expiration of which all land grants, not occupied, were 
to be forfeited. 

1685. The spring of this year was the time finally agreed tipon to 
rebuild the town. 

" At a meeting of the Committee with the Company belonging to Squakeage, 
at Enfign Lyman's houfe [in Northampton], April 8, 1685, That where 
bound marks between men's lots were loft fince the time they were driven 
away by the Indians, being about ten years fince, we then, both the Committee 
and Proprietors did agree and order the lands both home-lots and meadow-lands 
fhould be meafured again, and each man to have his juft due." 

April 26, 1685. At a meeting of the Committee, it was then agreed 
and ordered, that those men that have had lots granted, and are now 
to have their proportions laid out, shall have what they want [lack] 
in the Great meadow and Pauchaug in the next meadow, until they 
have equal with the former inhabitants, and what it wants in quality 
to be made up in quantity until it be equalized : this order doth ex- 
tend to all those that shall have lots granted until the number of 40 
families be settled. 

Saw-Mill. — At a meeting of the Committee May 18, 1685, they 
then granted to John Woodward, William Clarke Jr. and Richard 
Lyman and any other that shall join with them, liberty to build a 
saw-mill, and we have granted to them a stream to improve their 
mill and so much land as they need to pond on and to lay logs upon, 
and 20 acres of land near the mill' for pasturing or any other youse 
what they see mete, and liberty of the Commons for timber what they 
need to build with ; this [pasture land] is granted to them and to their 

98 History of Nortbfield. 

heirs forever, to be taken up where the partners shall judge most 
convenient. This mill was set up on what is known as the Dea. 
Janes mill site. 

May 23, 1685. William Clarke "in behalfe of those that are pre- 
paring to resettle the village of Squakeage," sent a statement and 
petition to the General Court x in which after rehearsing the action 
of the Committee in fixing the original bounds of the plantation, he 
proceeds : " and now being streightened for roome at the easterly 
end, the inhabitants that now intend to resettle the place againe doe 
earnestly desier and intreate this honnoured Court, if you see mete, to 
lett the plantation extend about two miles and a halfe lower, unto a 
little stoney brooke, which is called Fower Miles Brooke, and that 
yow would grant it to them ; it would greatly encourage those that are 
to setle there, there being neare about forty familys preparing to setle 
there within a litle time. There is no intervale nor meadow land in 
this tract of land that I moove for them, but because it lyes near the 
toune, and may be usefull for wood and other wayes, and also incou- 
rage more inhabitants." * * * 

The Court granted the petition, and extended the southerly bound 
on the east side of the river accordingly. 

The number of families that went upon the plantation this first 
season, is not definitely known. Evidently it was much smaller than 
had been expected. It was not over twenty. The terrible remem- 
brances of the former attempt were fresh in the minds of the surviv- 
ors, and they were slow to repeat the risk. The temptation of 
abundance of land and a pleasant dwelling place, was offset by the 
perils of frontier exposure and distance from help. Micah Mudge, 
Cornelius Merry, John Alexander and William Miller, of the earlier 
planters, and Samuel Davis, Benjamin Palmer, John Clary Jr. and 
Benjamin Wright, resolute men, named in the records as " new 
comers," were the pioneers, and bore the brunt in this enterprise. 

Each settler built on his home-lot, instead of in a common en- 
closure, as at the former attempt. According to the Rev. Mr. Hub- 
bard's account, some "put up convenient houses" — probably of 
framed timber, and covered with rived clap-boards. 

Fort. — As one of the first necessities of frontier life, they built a 
substantial fort. This was placed on the Robert Lyman home-lot, 
owned in the Third Settlement by Zechariah Field. 

1 Mi a. Colony Records, v, 482. 

Resettlement of Squakbeag. 99 

Grist-mill. — Early in the season a griot-mill was set up by John 
Clary Jr. He had the mill in Hadley the preceding year, 1 and was 
induced to remove hither by the offer of 20 acres of land in Great 
meadow, and the island situated in the great bend of the river. The 
mill was located on Mill brook,* on the privilege nearest the street. 

Sept. 15, 1685. It is further granted to the "new inhabitants," 
in the upper end of the Great meadow, as an addition to their lots 
that they shall run to the brow of the hill, that is to say, where the 
fence now stands. 

An Order for the Prefervation of Timber at S quake age alias North fie Id. It 
is ordered by the Committee of the place, that if any perfon or perfons whatfo- 
ever fhall fall timber on the Commons, after 3 months its, to be crofsted or cut 
off"; and after 3 months more to be cleft out or bolted orfquared ; if not, it (hall 
be forfeited." 

Bolts were cuts of sufficient length for shingles or clap-boards, i. e. 
from 3 to 5 feet long. 

Apportionment of the Land Grants. — An important and 
somewhat difficult part of the Committee's work this year, (not com- 
pleted till the next), was the apportionment of the granted lands among 
the inhabitants. 

There is nowhere to be found a record of the rule by which the 
lands at Squakheag were originally granted, at this Second Settle- 
ment. From an incidental allusion in one of the town votes, it is 
believed that a sum of money was subscribed in advance by each en- 
gager, the sum total of which was to be used in payment for land pur- 
chases, expense of surveying, and other antecedent charges. A cer- 
tain sum thus put down entitled the subscriber to 30 acres of interval ; 
more to more, and less to less, in proper ratio. Thus the number of 
acres set against each man's name in the Committee's list (see ante, 
p. 95), represented his estate, and was the basis of taxation for public 
charges. A rate, laid in 1688, for building a meeting-house and 
bridge, was levied on this list of lands. The home-lots, being of 
equal size, were not taxed for these public charges. 

It is to be borne in mind that the allotment now made, was not in 
addition to the grants set down in the Committee's list, but was only 
the filling up of those grants. 

1 The Hadley mill had been in possession of Robert Boltwood and his son Samuel. Nov. i, 
1683, the town bought out their right, and took possession: but difficulty arising, the 
town surrendered the property back to the Boltwoods, May I, 1685. 

3 The stream on which the fir u mil! in a town was built, was commonly named Mill brook. 

ioo History of Nortbfield, 

In this apportionment of outlying intervals, it was the aim of the 
Committee that each settler should have his just proportion of the more 
desirable lands, such as Great meadow and Pauchaug, as well as of 
the distant plains and meadows. To secure a more substantial 
equality, the larger meadows were first marked off into 2 or 3 nearly 
equal parts, and each man received a lot in each part, or a lot in one 
part equivalent in value to the 2 or 3. 

Great meadow was divided into 3 parts. The first division em- 
braced 17 lots, the smallest being 2^ and the largest 1 i-J- acres ; the 
second division had 25 lots, varying from 2 to 22^ acres ; the third 
division had 16 lots of from ih to 5 acres each. 

Pauchaug was divided into 2 parts, and each division into 18 lots 
which were assigned to new comers. These lots varied in size from 
6 to 10 acres each. 

Bennett's meadow was cut into 2 parts, and each part into 16 lots. 
These lots were granted in the ratio of 1 acre for every 10 acres as 
given in the Committee's list — 30 acres drew 3, etc. 

Great swamp was divided into 32 lots, and each grantee of 30 
acres drew 5^ acres, and so more or less as the case might be. This 
was the only supply of wood handy to the town, and such as failed 
to receive a share here, probably were expected to supply their wants 
from the patches growing on the commons, or on the banks of the 

Little meadow, which lay on the west side of the river " opposite 
the upper end of Pauchaug," contained about 24 acres and was divi- 
ded into 16 lots, each of which had from 1^ to i£ acres. 

Third meadow, on the west side " above Pauchaug," (separated 
from Little meadow by a wooded ravine) was estimated at 36 acres, 
and divided into 16 lots, varying from f to 5 acres each. 

The Fifth meadow draught or Great meadow west, comprised 
lands on both sides of the river. The east division, " lying triangular 
on both sides of a brook," had 12 lots ; the west division had 19 lots, 
ranging from 1 J to "]\ acres each, being in about the ratio of 3^ acres 
to each 30 acre grant. 

The Ashuelot draught, comprised the meadow and open lands at 
the mouth of the Ashuelot, and the meadows opposite on the west 
side of the Connecticut. The east division contained about 23 acres, 
parceled into 9 lots ; the west division of about 70 acres was par- 
celed into 22 lots. The lots varied in size from i^to 7-J acres, the 
majority containing i\ acres. 

Resettlement of Squakbeag. 101 

A lot of ii^ acres, in the meadow on the east side of the Connec- 
ticut " above the Ashuelot draught," was granted to Cornelius 
Merry, whence originated the name Merry's meadow, applied in later 
records to the tract above old Fort Hill. 

Moose plain, reckoned at about 120 acres, was divided into 18 
lots, ranging from 3^ to 15 J acres each. 

A year later, Wells's meadow (below the Fifth meadow draught), 
and Wells's plain (above Moose plain), were apportioned to the 

A home-lot of 7^ acres, and 46 acres of interval were reserved 
for a minister. Meadowlands were also set apart and reserved for 
" the smith." 

Burying-Ground. — A piece of land was reserved for a burying- 
place on the meadow hill, 1 and a way to it through Samuel Dickin- 
son's home-lot (the Joseph Dickinson lot) t " and we have allowed 
him two rods more than his due for y e way, on the north side of his 

This year, highways, or more properly meadow-roads, were laid 
out as follows : one of two rods wide through the Great meadow by 
the town, from the south end to the north end across every man's 
lot ; also a cross highway to the meadow, between the minister's lot 
and William Miller's lot ; two rods wide through Pauchaug from 
south to north across all the lots ; two rods wide through every 
man's lot in the Ashuelot draught west ; also 2 highways one rod 
wide each, from south to north through Bennett's meadow, one on 
the plain below the great hill, and one in the meadow ; and " a parcel 
of land from Parsons's lot to the Rock is reserved to set hay and corn 
on for conveniency" ; one rod wide through the lots in Little mea- 
dow, from south to north, with an allowance of space at the south 
end upon William Clarke's land " sufficient to turn carts on" ; one 
rod wide through the Third meadow, with conveniency for turning 
carts ; two rods wide through all that meadow called the Fifth 
meadow or Great-meadow west, through every man's lot. 

The Commons. — All the lands not divided and apportioned, were 
called Common land, or Town land ; and were open for pasturage 
without restriction, to all the inhabitants. 

1 The tradition ii, that Sergt. Samuel Wright was killed on this spot by the Indians, Sept. 
1, 1675, and his bones, when found, were interred where he fell j which circumstance de- 
cided the location of the cemetery. 

102 History of Northfield. 

1686. At the town meeting March 18, 1686, the following officers 
were chosen : Ensign John Lyman and Benjamin Palmer, Supervis- 
ors of the place. Micah Mudge, Constable for the year ensuing. 
John Clary Jr. and John Lyman, fence viewers. Micah Mudge and 
Benjamin Palmer, measurers of land : " And it is ordered that they 
shall have two pence every acre, if the proprietors be not with them % 
if they be, they are to have but one penny for measuring." 

It is ordered that if any home-lot shall fall short in measure, they 
shall have it made up elsewhere : and what it is wanting in quality to 
be made up in quantity. 

Meadow Fences. — At the same meeting, M ordered, that the fence 
about the Great Meadow shall be made up by the 16th of April next 
insuing, sufficient according to law, that is to say, thick and strong 
according to the judgment of the fence-viewers ; and if any do neg- 
lect to make their fence according to this order, they shall forfeit for 
every week's neglect 2 shillings and 6 pence every rod, besides all 
other damage. 

It is ordered that Pauchaug shall be fenced in by the beginning of 
May next insuing, upon the forfeit of 4 shillings and six pence per 
rod for every week's neglect, besides all other damages. 

As the matter of fencing was one of the heavy burdens on the new 
settler, a brief account will here be given. All the cattle and usually 
the hogs were suffered to run at large. Grain fields and mow lands 
were thus exposed to constant depredation. For each man to fence 
around his separate lot would be enormously expensive and was un- 
necessary. And so " common fences " around l * common fields," to 
be regulated by the town, was the rule adopted. Each proprietor 
was required to make and maintain fence according tp the number 
of acres he held in the field or meadow, and to have a stake 12 inches 
high at the end of his fence, with the two first letters of his name, 
facing the way the fence runs. The home-lot fences were usually 
made of posts and rails. Meadow fences were sometimes of the same, 
and sometimes consisted of a broad ditch with stakes and two or three 
poles set on the bank, making the whole full four feet in height. 

Ferry. — A lot 26 rods wide was reserved and laid out upon Moose 
plain for a highway and ferry. This was what is known as the Prin- 
dle ferry. 

New Fort. — A new fort was built early this year on <he John 
Clary home-lot. This was necessary for the protection of the mill, 

Resettlement of Squakbeag 103 

and as a resort for the families located at this end of the street. The 
site of this fort, which was on the height of land south of the Mill 
brook (now known as the Capt. White lot) was favorable for obser- 
vation and defence. The tradition is that it was a strong work, built 
of logs, with a mount at the northwest corner. The stone founda- 
tion was in place 50 years ago, and the well is still perfect. 

May 24, 1686. A new deed of the tract of land between Miller's 
brook on the south, and Mill brook, on the north, originally pur- 
chased in 1 67 1 (see ante, p. 52), was taken of the Indians. This 
implies that the savages were in the neighborhood ; and the fact that 
their demand for additional pay was yielded to shows that it was thought 
necessary to conciliate them. And the appointment of John Lyman 
as ensign of the militia at Northfleld this spring, and the building of 
a new fort indicate the state of apprehension which prevailed. Pro- 
bably watches were kept at night, and wards in the day-time, from the 
1 st of May to the time of the " fall of the leaves" — the Indians com- 
monly choosing this season for their attacks, as the leaves afforded 
better concealment. All males from 16 to 60, except those exempted 
by law, were required to train four days in a year, and were liable at 
all times to be called upon to take their turn in watching, warding and 
scouting. x 

The plan on the next page exhibits the home-lots as located by the 
Committee, and includes all, except Moses Lyman's and Judah Hutch- 
inson's, that had been assigned and taken up as late as the spring of 1 687 . 
Several of them were not occupied at this date, and some of them must 
have remained unoccupied during this Settlement. According to a 
statement of Micah Mudge and Samuel Davis, " about 25 families" 
actually built houses on their home-lots. All named on the plan, 
however, except Richard Francis, were taxed in Northfleld, and they 
or their heirs claimed a title to the lots, at a subsequent time. The 
records contain no evidence to show that George Alexander, Joseph 
Parsons, Robert Lyman, Mr. William Janes, Richard Lyman or 
William Clarke became actual residents in this second attempt — 
though they paid annual taxes : and it is doubtful if any one to repre- 
sent Samuel Wright took possession of his home-lot. Deducting these 
names, leaves (including Moses Lyman and Judah Hutchinson) 29 as 
the number of actual settlers. And all the 29, except John Hutchin- 
son and Ralph Hutchinson, are known to have been in Northfleld at 

1 Every town was required by law to provide a suitable watch-house, with candles, and 
wood. In time of peace, watches were under control of the town constable; in time of 
war, they were under the military authorities. 

Joj. YVarrioer 

Common land 


Saml Boitwood 

Wtn. Weeks 

Z. Lawrence 

Benj. Paiffler 


Rich. Francis 

John Clary Jr. 
John Woodward 

Thos. Webster 



Town land 

Saml Wright 

Dial. Warner 

Ceo Alexander 

John Alexander 

Jacob Root 

Minuter'i lot 



Micah Mudge 

Samuel Daru 

Jo*. Dickinson 
Jo*. Panoni 
John Hilyaxd 

Rich. Lyman 

N. Alexander 

Wm. Clarke 

Benj. Wright 


Isaac Warner 

Cor. Merry 
John Lyman 

Rob. Lyman 

^ I Ens, J. Lyman 
Town land 

J. Hntchinaon 

Saml Janea 

Wm. Janet 

Ralph Hutchinson 

Jo*. Root 



John Holmes 

Town land 

Town land. 

















Resettlement of Squakbeag. 105 

this time. Thus the statement of Mudge and Davis is substantially 

A brief sketch of the new comers is in place here. 

Nathaniel Alexander, was the 5th child of George (see Settlers 
of 1673). His w. was Hannah Allen, dau. of Samuel. Neither of 
his sons lived to marry : and after the Third Settlement, he sold his 
home-lot to his nephew Ebenezer Alexander, and went to live with 
his dau. Hannah, the w. of Samuel Boltwood Jr. of Hadley. 

Samuel Boltwood. His father Robert was early at Wethers- 
field (east side) ; afterwards of Hadley. Samuel, known as Sergeant 
Boltwood, was an engager for Northfield in 1683, but did not go up 
till '86. He was a man of remarkable strength, and great bravery, 
and u a noted wolf killer." He m. Sarah Lewis, dau. of Capt. Wil- 
liam of Farmington, Ct. When Northfield was deserted he returned 
to Hadley ; was slain (with his. son Robert) at Deerfield, Feb. 29, 
1704. Several of his children married into Northfield families. 

John Clary Jr., was son of John of Watertown and Hadley. He 
built the first grist-mill in N. 1685. He (with his dau. Sarah aged 
15) was killed by the Indians at or near his mill, Aug. 16, 1688. 
His w. was dau. of the first Nathaniel Dickinson of Hadley and sis- 
ter of Joseph of Northfield who was k. with Capt. Beers. 

Samuel Davis was the son of William of Roxbury. Was at 
Northampton 1668. He was a leading man in the Northfield set- 
tlement, and did not desert the place till the spring of 1690. He d. 
at Northampton July 26, 1690. Mary Davis of Northampton, 
dau. of his son John, held a right in his lands and was taxed in North- 
field 17 1 8. 

Samuel Dickinson, son of Joseph, represented his father's rights 
in Northfield during this Settlement. 

Richard Francis. Probably from Dorchester, and one of the 16 
young men who in 1669 could not prove an "orderly living," and 
the constables were ordered to look after them. He was clerk of 
Capt. Turner's company in Philip's war : named in Northampton 
records 1675 ; took oath of fid. at Nh". Feb. 8, 1679. He was one 
of the Northfield engagers, 1683 ; received a grant of a home-lot 
and 36 acres of interval in 1684 ; received a special grant of 10 
acres north of Four-mile brook, Mar. 18, 1686. He did not re- 
move to Northfield, and his home-lot was given to John Clary Jr. 
He d. before Feb. 8, 17 15. 

William Gurley, said to be di Scotch descent. He was brought 
up in the family of Rev. Solomon Stoddard. Is named as an inhabit- 
ant of Northampton Feb. 8, 1679. He m. 1684, Esther Ingersoll. 

1 06 History of Northfield.'' 

Had grant of home-lot, etc., in Northfield 1684, and special grant of 
10 acres north of Four-mile brook Mar. 18, 1686, but did not take 
possession. He was drowned at Northampton May 21, 1687. 

John Holmes, took oath of fid. at Northampton Feb. 8, 1679. He 
received a grant of a home-lot at Northfield, and built on it in 1686. 
The place, now owned by Joseph B. Callender, was known as the 
Holmes lot for several generations. After the desertion of the planta- 
tion he removed to Deerfield, and d. 1692. 

Thomas Hunt. He was the oldest son of Dea. Jona. and Clem- 
ence (Hosmer) Hunt of Northampton. Had grant of home-lot and 
20 acres of land at Northfield 1684; and special grant of 10 acres 
north of Four-mile brook March 18, 1686; but did not remove 
thither. He was living in Lebanon, Ct., 1700: was an original 
member of the church in Lebanon. 

John Hutchinson, was the son of Ralph. After the desertion 
of Northfield, he removed to Lebanon, Ct. 

Judah Hutchinson, son of Ralph, was a prominent man in 
Northfield during the Second Settlement ; perhaps occupied his 
father's home-lot. Lived afterwards at Northampton. 

Samuel Hutchinson, son of Ralph. In 1686 he received a 
grant of 15 acres in the Three Little Meadows below the town, and 
was admitted "an inhabitant" of Northfield. He probably did not 
reside permanently here. Was living at Lebanon, Ct., 17 18, and 
was taxed on land in Northfield that year. 

Samuel Janes, was son of Elder William. Had a home-lot in 
Northfield — probably one of his father's rights, which was confirmed 
to him in 1685, and on which he was living in 1688. He was k. by 
Indians at Pascomock May 13, 1704. 

Joseph Janes, son of Elder William : unm. : d. 1695. Mar. 18, 
1686, he received grant of a home-lot and an island at Northfield, 
but did not build and inhabit. 

Zachery Lawrence. He was probably son of John and Eliza- 
beth Lawrence of Watertown, b. Mar. 9, 1659. His land grants 
at Northfield 1684 were, 

Home-lot, next north of Mill brook, . . • 7^ acres. 

Great Meadow, first lot, 2 

Great Meadow, second lot, i£ 

Pauchaug, 9 

Little meadow, west of river, i\ 

Second meadow, do., 3^ *»■ 

Ashuelot draught, west, i£ 

Special grant Mar. 18, 1686, 10 Total 36 acres. 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 107 

He was chosen hay ward Feb. 29, 1688. In 17 14, he was a resi- 
dent of Hatfield. 

Ensign John Lyman, was son of Richard the first : born in 
England, came over with his father 1631. Lived in Branford, Ct. 
and at Northampton. He was appointed one of the Committee for 
Northfield, May 24, 1682, whither he removed in the summer of 
'86. He returned to Northampton, prob. in '88, and d. Aug. 20, 

Moses Lyman, was son of Ensign John. Had a home-lot and 
other lands in Northfield, granted Apr. 1687. He was living in 
Northfield, 1688. His son Moses, commonly called Capt. Moses, 
claimed his father's rights in N. in 17 14. 

John Lyman, son of Robert, had grant of a home-lot (next N. 
of his father's), and 31 acres of interval and woodland in the spring 
of 1686. Was a resident and held office that year. 

Richard Lyman, son of Richard Jr. He had a home-lot and 
lands in N. 1686 ; or rather he took the lands which were forfeited 
and alienated by John Marsh Jr., whose father m. his mother. It is 
not probable that his family came to this town. He removed* from 
Northampton to Lebanon, Ct., 1696. 

John Marsh Jr. His f. John was of Hartford, Hadley, North- 
ampton, and Hartford again : m. for 2d w. Hepzibah Lyman, wid. 
of Richard Jr. John Marsh Jr. m. Sarah Lyman, dau. of his step- 
mother. He forfeited his home-lot and lands in N. which were 
taken by his bro.-in-law Richard Lyman. 

Benjamin Palmer, was a leading man in the town. His lineage 
has not been ascertained. Benjamin Palmer, then of Plainfield, Ct., 
sold Dec. 29, 1702, his lands in Northfield to Enoch Randall of 

Robert Poag or Poick. His name is on the list of inhabitants 
of Hatfield, 1679. Received grant of 10 acres of land north of 
Four-mile brook Mar. 18, 1686. He d. at Northampton, returning 
from a journey, Jan. 14, 1702. 

Joseph Pumery, was the youngest son of Eltweed. He forfeited 
his grant by non-residence. Was living at Colchester, Ct., 1701. 
His w. was Hannah, dau. of Richard Jr. and Hepzibah Lyman. 

Joseph Root, was eldest son of Thomas Sen. He had a home- 
lot and 33^ acres of land, granted in 1686. 

Jacob Root, son of Thomas Sen. He received a grant of a 
home-lot and 39} acres of interval, at the same time as his bro. 
Joseph. His w. was a dau. of Sampson Frary. He removed to 
Hebron Ct. 

1 08 History of Northjield. 

John Taylor. He was of Northampton, Captain of the Hamp- 
shire troop : k. by the Indians in the pursuit after the massacre at 
Pascomock, May 13, 1704. His w. was Thankful Woodward, sister 
of John. He was an engager for Northfield 1683. The home-lot 
set to him was the second north of Mill brook ; he had 30 acres of 
interval: and Mar. 18, 1686, received a special grant of 10 acres 
north of Four-mile brook. He did not take possession. His son, 
Sergt. Thomas, and grandson Thomas, will figure largely in our sub- 
sequent history. 

Isaac Warner, an engager 1683, was son of Andrew of Cam- 
bridge, Hartford and Hadley. He was a man of influence in the 
new plantation. He d. at Deerfield, 1691. His w. was Sarah Bolt- 
wood, dau. of Robert, and sister of Sergt. Samuel. 

Daniel Warner, a brother of Isaac : settled in Hatfield, removed 
to Northfield 1685 or 6 ; d. at Hatfield, 1692. His 2d w. was 
Martha Boltwood, sister of Isaac's wife. 

Eleazar Warner, was son of John of Ipswich, Brookfield, and 
Hadley. He was an engager for Northfield 1683, but forfeited his 
right, and the land was assigned to William Weeks. 

Joseph Warriner, son of William of Springfield. He took 
Joseph Pumery's land rights ; was a man of some prominence. When 
the place was abandoned, he removed to Enfield, where he d. 1697. 

William Weeks. Was probably from Dorchester ; son of 
William ; if so, he was b. 1658. He took the land grants first set 
off to Eleazar Warner. In June 1688, he had a lot in Wells's 
plain, which is thus described : " On the east side of the great river, 
above the meadow called Pauchaug above the first brook, one parcel 
of land, bounded W. the river, E. the hill, S. the first brook, N. 
against the lower end of an island called Mr. Janes's island — this 
Wm. Weeks hath, about 7 acres." 

John Woodward, only son of Henry of Dorchester and" North- 
ampton. He built at Northfield 1685 or 6 ; after the desertion in 
'90, he removed to Westfield ; thence about 1700 to Lebanon, Ct. 

Benjamin Wright, the captain, son of Samuel who was k. by 
the Indians Sept. 2, 1675. He was b. at Northampton July 13, 
1660 ; m. (1) Mar. 22, 1681, Thankful Taylor, dau. of Capt. John. 
She d. April 4, 1701. He m. (2) July 19, 1701, Mary Barker of 
Springfield. He lived to return to Northfield in 17 14, and will come 
more prominently into notice during that period of our history. 

1687. Few items of public interest can be gleaned from the records 
of this year. The necessities of food and shelter, and the measure- 
ment and staking off of allotted lands, filled up the season. 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 109 

Caterpillars. — An extract from a letter written July 5, by John 
Pynchon, gives intimation of a singular plague which visited the 
river towns this summer. " We are sorely afflicted by caterpillars 
or such like worms eating our corn, and in some places eating y e 
grass and shearing it clean, so that unless y e Lord remove y m our 
people will be sorely distressed. I hear it in so many other towns 
about us : y e Lord grant that it may not be so with you [in Boston] 
and in mercy put a stop to their progress that we may have sus- 

Though the major part of the meadows north of Mill brook had 
been divided to the settlers, and many lots were actually in tillage, 
yet the Indian title had not been extinguished. And August 13th a 
purchase of this large tract, comprising all of Nawelet's possessions 
on the river, was consummated [See ante, p. 54]. 

Thus in all, the Northfield proprietors purchased three parcels of 
land, viz : Masbepetot's land, lying wholly on the west side of the 
river, extending from the brook Nallahamcongo or Natanis on the 
south to Massemet's land on the north, and running six miles into the 
woods. Massemet's land, lying on both sides of the river and bounded 
by Mashepetot's land on the south, north by the brook Cowas, and 
running back 6 miles from the river on either side. Nawelet's land, 
lying on both sides of the river, and bounded south by Massemet's 
land, north by the brook Wanascatok and running back 6 miles from 
the river on either side. 

1688. At the annual town meeting held Feb. 29, 1688, the fol- 
lowing officers were chosen : 

Nathaniel Alexander, constable. 

Jacob Root, Wm. Miller, Judah Hutchinson, measurers of land. 

Isaac Warner, Jacob Root, fence viewers for Great meadow. 

Joseph Warriner, Samuel Boltwood, fence viewers for Pauchaug. 

Zachery Lawrence, Joseph Root, haords for both meadows. 

Moses Lyman, Wm. Miller, highway wardens. 

u Voted, That all those that have grants of land shall be here with 
their families, or forfeit their grant and what they have done upon it, 
according to your (the Committee's) order to the use of the town, by 
the tenth (10th) day of May next ensuing." 

The prosperous condition and public spirit of the new settlers may 
be inferred from the following action, taken at the same meeting : 
Voted, to gather a rate of 40 pounds 5 shillings, to be levied on the 
grants of meadow lands, for to build a meeting-house and a bridge 
over Mill brook. John Clary Jr. was chosen to present this last 

1 1 o History of Northfield. 

vote to the Committee for their approval. He went to Northampton 
with the following letter : 

" Y e toune of Northfield, confidering y e necefsity of a meteinge hous for to 
mete in, and alfoe to build a bridg over y e mill brooke being orderly met to- 
gether did voat and were yunnanamus in owr voat to bild a Meeting hous 8c the 
sade brige, and alfoe voated co make a Reat of ffbrty pounds, and to rale it 
uppon grants of land for y° defraying of y e charges of fade meteing hous & 
brige, as attefte Joseph Warriner 

Samuel Davis." 

This action of the town was approved by the Committee, and the 
assessment was made ; but as rates were mostly payable in grain, and 
were often laid in anticipation of a crop, it is not likely that the pur- 
pose of the voters was carried out. Besides, the frontiers were be- 
ginning to feel sensibly the effects of the arbitrary measures of the 
king, who had annulled the Colonial charters, and placed the despotic 
Andros in authority over New England. Commercial interests were 
paralyzed ; and the conflict between Andros and the people, who 
still clung to their rights, weakened both the civil and the military 
arms. The French authorities in Canada were not slow to take ad- 
vantage of this distracted state of affairs, and were instigating the 
Indians to renew their depredations on the exposed settlements. 

But as yet no signs of evil alarmed the Northfield settlers. They 
were inured to danger ; and like men bent on a great purpose, and 
trustful of a Divine Providence that permitted evil only as a merited 
chastisement, they went on with their allotted work. At a meeting 
held April nth, 

" It was voted and agreed by the Proprietors of Northfield to give to each 
of our honored Committee, Mr. William Clarke, Deacon William Holton, 
Sergt. John King and Enfign Preferved Clap, five acres of interval land in the 
Three Little Meadows, without paying any purchafe money, andjt is to lye 
clear of any town charges whatfoever. This land is to pay them, the above named 
Committee, for all their coft pains and labor about the fetding of the faid North- 
field ; and if they ferve a year or two more, we will not demand full pay of 

In June, the lots in Wells's meadow, and the Wells plain draught, 
which comprised the high and broken lands on both sides of the river 
between Wells's meadow and the Moose plain draught, were rear- 
ranged and assigned to permanent settlers. 

In a word, the recorded public action of the planters this spring, 
all implies that they felt strong and confident. They form plans for 
the future, as if conscious that the foundations were well a^jd securely 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 1 1 1 

laid ; as if the time c>f uncertainty and experiment was passed, and 
they could rely on the devotion and firmness of all who had become 
inhabitants, and could shake off the timid and hesitating engagers ; as 
if they had a right to emerge from the privation period, into the pri- 
vileges and independence of Christian society — of which the Meet- 
ing-house and bridge are two characteristic emblems. 

But in the latter part of June, while they were engaged in making 
their crop of English hay, the enemy was stealthily approaching the 

The story of this summer is best told in the official documents of 
the time. 

Affidavit of Jean Rosie. " John Rone of the city of Albany aged 34 or 
thereabouts being examined faith : That on the 1 1th of June Iaft he went from 
Albany with Dcrick Wefsells, who was sent by Gov r Dongan to carry the 
truce or cefsation made between y® Kings of England and ffrance to the Gov r 
of Canada ; and the 226. following came with him to Mount Royal where they 
found the f 1 Gov r of Canada, and there he saw the f D.. Wefsells y° fame day 
deliver y e letters of the f 1 cefsation to y e Gov" own hand." 

Sworn to Sept. 25, 1 688. 1 

" Acloramak and Walnakane two Sachems of y 9 Meeklanders, examined 
by Capt. Wendell 24th Auguft 1688 faid : They had 8 men of their In- 
dians out a hunting, betwixt Canada and y° North- about a month since, and 
there met 12 of"the North Indians y l live in Canada, and had great difcourfe 
together : And fecondly, to fire one upon another ours found themfelves too 
weak and told them they were friends and relations together ; and it was peace, 
and had orders not to fight any more. They faid, they were fent out by the 
French Governor to kill Chriitians and Indians, and mould go to the North, 
and they could not then abftain from it becaufe it was peace. Y° Captains 
names of them : Wampeolak, Nahainfett. Soldiers : — Wae-lae-mae-quit, 
Ota-fa-wa-fett and his bro : Wa-fees, Mae-qua-wee-bain-pa-weet, Mack-to-wan, 
Ta-ma-wa-ra-hack, Wa-ha-ro-hack ; y e others they know not by name : And 
they now underftand by the Indians y l came with D. Wefsells from Canada 
that there is now 8 more out y l way to do mifchief, and they think they have 
done the mifchief to y e Chriftians." 3 

The Examination of an Indian called Magsigpen alias Gray- 
poose, taken in Albany the 15th day of September, 1688 : 

Saith, that returning from Canada with the Maquas, who had been fighting 
there, Left f 1 Maquas in the Lake and went with the Scagkook Indians a hunt- 
ing being eight together in number, coming upon a creek called Magkanewceck, 

1 Man. State Archives, cxxix, Z15. 

3 The terms "North" and ''North Indians" in these papers, refer to Northticld and 
Deerrieid, aad the Squakheag and Pacomtock Indians. 1 

3 Man. Slate Archive:, cxxix, 13 6. > 


1 1 2 History of Nortbfield. 

met with four Indians viz. Jethro and others, and fo went down f 1 creek to« 
gether. And were feen by eleven Indians that formally lived in New England 
and now in Canada, who followed them all the night (as afterwards they under- 
ftood of them). Coming to a fall, carried their canoes into the great River of 
Connecticut ; and juft as they were a going into their canoes the f* eleven 
North Indians came running out of the woods, prefented their arms upon the 
Scagkoolc Indians and called Who are you ? And this examinant anfwered, 
Scagkoolc Indians. The North Indians further afked, where are you a going 
and what is your bufinefs ? The Scagkoolc Indians replied, We are a hunt- 
ing. What people are you, and what your bufinefs? The North Indians faid, 
We live in Canada — We are going to fight by order of the Governor of 
Canada, who told us the Maquas have done great mifchief in Canada, therefore 
go you, revenge the fame either on Chriftians or Indians : Kill all what you 
can, bring no prifoners but their fcalps, ard I'll give you ten beavers for every 
one of them. — Then the North Indians made canoes there and fo went down 
the River together two days, being continually upon their guard without fleep- 
ing, challenging the one the other. The eight Scagkook Indians told the French 
Indians, we have been in Canada with the Maquas, and are you come to re- 
venge it ? Why do not you fall upon us ? The North Indians anfwered, 
Derick Wefsells hath been in Canada and brought tidings there that a cefsation 
was made of all hoftility between the two governments, and he was but four 
days gone from Canada when we came from there. Upon which the Scag- 
kook Indians replied, How, is there a cefsation, and do you go out ftill ? We 
know nothing of it. And fo talking together came to a place called Soquag- 
keeke [Squakheag] where fome chriftians live and to a place called Deerfield. 
There they went to the houfe of one Mr. Thomas Wells, where they lodged 
with three of the North Indians. The Scagkook Indians went and told the 
chriftians [at Squakheag], There are eleven Indians that are come from Canada, 
be upon your guard, we know not whether their hearts are good. The chrif- 
tians anfwered, We are not afraid of them : we are not concerned in the wars 
of Canada. • * * 

The f a . Examinant further faith that the names of the C 1 eleven North In- 
dians are as followeth, viz. The chief is called 
Wampolack, from pennecooke 
Nanauquefeek, from pennecooke 
Walamaqueet, lived formerly in y c halfe Moone 

Maquawekanpaweet, from pennekooke and his fon whofe name ihey know no 
Tawawekakeak a Minenaet, from pennekooke 
Wawanwcjagtack of Quaboag 
Wawagquohaet of Quaboag 
Togpagkamin of Nafsawack 
Maghtwaen of pakantecooke 

Quaerfeits a Wappinger of Hudfon's River " 

And further faith not."' 

1 Mats. State Archives, XXX, 311. 

Resettlement of Squakheag. i 1 3 

From these statements it appears that this party of 1 1 Indians, hired 
by the French authorities in Canada to kill and scalp friendly Indians 
and whites, passed down through Northfield the 23 d or 24 th of July : 
that the friendly Scagkooks gave the settlers warning of their hostile 
intentions : and that our people, trusting to the sacredness of a truce 
between the English and French governments, failed to take the 
alarm. Three of these 1 1 Indians stopped over night with Thomas 
Wells of Deerfield, while the rest went down the river. 

Within the week, (July 27,) 5 peaceable Indians dwelling at Spec- 
tacle pond near Springfield, were found murdered ; but no trace was 
discovered of the murderers. 

The day after this murder (July 28), a party of strange Indians 
was seen in the vicinity of Northfield. 

" The examination of Micah Mudge of Northfield aged 38 years or there- 
abouts, taken the 15th October, 1688. 

" The f* Examinant faith, that about the latter end of July, the news being 
come to their town of feveral Indians murdered by Indians and others taken at 
Spectacle Pond near Springfield, and that feveral flrange Indians were feen about 
their town, and not coming in, he, with eleven men more went out to see what 
Indians they were and what their intent was; and having travelled all an after- 
noon, about y 9 dufk of y e evening found feveral Indians by a 'fire on y e fide of a 
hill about a mile from y e town, and coming near they called to them, and imme- 
diately y e Indians flood to their arms,, and after difcourfed together about their 
being there and not coming to y° town ; and y 8 Indians told them they were going 
to Penecook, and that fome lately came from there. That this examinant faw 
amongft them Wahacoet and Cungowafco two Indians he was well acquainted 
with, and feveral others who he knew to be North Indians formerly belonging to 
thefe parts, but does not remember their names. That this Examinant offering 
to go towards their fire was hindered by the faid Cungowafco, but was after led 
to y* fame by Wahacoet, where he faw about feven Indians in warlike pofture. 
That this examinant thereupon told them that there was peace between y a 
Kings of England and ffrance, which Wahacoet replied he knew well enough and 
promifed y e next morning to come in to Northfield, which they did not." 1 

An extract from Col. Pynchon's Diary of Accounts of this date, 
throws important light on the transactions now under consideration : 

" July 30, 1688. I fet out from Springfield on my journey to New London 
to wait upon his Excellency Gov r Andros's orders there : when y e expenfes of 
man and horfes, ferriages, etc., in my journey thither were £o 12 6. 

" Aug. 3. To expenfes on my return back, being fent home with orders by 
his Excellency £090 

" Aug. 6th to y e 1 I th , When I went from Springfield towards Northfield by 

1 Mast. State Arckivti, cxxix, 243. 

1 1 4 History of Northfield. 

Northampton and thro' thofe upper towns to order affairs : two men with me 
from Springfield 5 days out ; Ferriage of men and horfes at Springfield and 
expenfes in f d journey came to £0 18 o. 

To 24 foldiers I took then up with me from y e upper towns ; the ferriage 
of their coming back from Northfield (for we fwam them going up) ; To Drinks 
at y e difcharging y e f d foldiers, and my paying y e expenfes of y m and many oc- 
cafional charges afsiffing at y e fortifications at Northfield : I difcharging y m y l 

1 took at this time wholly, hoping all things would have been fettled fo as to 
have no further account (which afterwards proved otherwife) Wherefore dif- 
burfed £3 17 o. 

To a Port fent up to me from Spring d to North 11 when I was there, to give 
an Ace' of y e Hartford Indians being come up y e day I went from home, and 
for my orders concerning y m £0 5 o. 

To y e faid 20 Indians from Hartford (who came up to give an Ace' of 
many Indian tracks feen in y e woods and fearing there were many in thofe 
parts, and to take care of Spring d and y* Indians with us) their entertainment 

2 nights and a day £0 12 o. 

To 1 1 Indians from Farmington there upon the fame errand £060. 

To 2 men and horfes I sent out upon difcovery that very day y e Indians 
were killed at Speflacle Pond £0 4 o. 

To 4 men fent to bury thofe Indians there killed, and 2 that fcouted out 
that day, being y e day after they were killed £0 10 o. 

To Polls fent upon occafion of this murder to y e three next towns, viz. a 
man to each town & horfe ,£o 5 o. 

To expenfe at Spring d : the fortifications I ordered to be made by men ap- 
pointed thereto, and fo, for the general, it was borne, yet at each particular I 
was at fuch expenfe as I charged, viz. £100. 

To a man and horfe with me to Weftfield to order matters there Sc ferriage 
£0 5 o. 

To foldiers from Spring d which I had ordered to come to me to Northfield, 
and were upon the journey : But having fettled things in fo good a pofture y* I 
confidered all was well, I difcharged y m £0 10 o. 

To a horfe, Benjamin Cooleys, I had in y 8 fervice whofe back was extremely 
galled and coil me tod. which I paid to y" man £0 10 o. 

Other charges £1.00 
Total £11 15 6 

John Pynchon Lt. Col. 

The fortifications at Northfield, alluded to in the diary, were the 
South and North forts, already described in this chapter. And at 
this time or soon after, a new fort was built on the north east corner 
of Micah Mudge's home-lot (the site is now marked by a well a little 
south easterly of the dwelling-house of Col. Charles "Pomeroy). 
And a small garrison-house was erected at the lower end of the street, 
" to secure their passage to and from the Great meadow." Tradition 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 1 1 5 

locates this garrison on the John Wright place, opposite the south 
road to the meadow. 

The prompt action of Col. Pynchon inspired courage, and the de- 
fensive works now in good repair inspired confidence in our people. 
The barley - harvest and flax-pulling now pressed; and the alarm 
raised by the murder at Spectacle pond, and the simultaneous appear- 
ance of strange Indians near the town, seems to have subsided ; and 
perhaps watching and warding became remiss. 

The Indians waited " near three weeks " before the favorable oppor- 
tunity came for striking the intended blow ! 

" On the 1 6th of August, six persons, three men, two women and 
a girl, were murdered by Indians at Northfield !" — so writes Micah 
Mudge, and adds, " a hatchet was found beside one of the persons 
murdered, which was seen and well known to have been with those 
eleven Indians when they passed thro' Northfield on their way to 

The following affidavit of Thomas Wells of Deerfield — though 
to some extent a repetition of facts already narrated — contains so 
many incidents of interest bearing on this assault, that it is inserted 
in full. 

" The examination of Thomas Wells, aged 36 years or thereabouts, taken 
Oct. 15, 1688. 

" This Examiirant faith that about the latter end of July there came by water 
to his houfe fifteen Indians, who after he had fome difcourfe with, he under- 
flood that eight of them were formerly North Indians but now lived near 
Albany, and had been out with y e Maquas, and in their way home came to 
thefe parts to hunt. That four more were likewife North Indians whom y e eight 
overtook a hunting ; and that y e other three were part of eleven Indians for- 
merly North Indians, but now lived amongft the ffrench, and came in purfuit 
of y 8 P eight Indians whom together they overtook. That the Capt". or chief 
of y° P 1 eleven Indians was called Wahacoct, who not fuffering his party to 
fall on y a eight Indians when they met them eight of his company were dif- 
pleafed thereat and left him, and he and two others were y° three that came 
with the other twelve to Deerfield. That all the f 1 15 Indians ftaid one night 
at this examinant's houfe ; that y e next morning y e faid 8 Indians went by land 
from Deerfield intending for Hatfield, and defired y B f 1 Wahacoet and y u other 
two to go with them, which he refufed, but faid he would come to them by and 
by. Soon after y e faid four Indians likewife intending for Hatfield by water, 
afked y e faid Wahacoet and y e two Indians to go with them, but he 
likewife refufed, but faid as before y t- he would come to them by and by. 
That foon after the faid 12 Indians were gone, Wahacoct and the two 
Indians went away by water and told this Examinant that he was going for Hat- 
field, and from thence to Boflon. But y" next morning ally" faid ei^ht Indian* 

1 1 6 History of Northfield. 

and three of the four Indians came again to this Examinanr/s houfe, and find- 
ing that Wahacoet and y e two others were gone and not come to them at Hat- 
field as they promifed, One Camaghtcfett who was Capt n or chief of the faid 8 
Indians told this examinant in y e Indian language which he well underftood, 
that y e faid 1 1 Indians were rogues and that he feared they were gone to do 
mifchief, and that they would have done mifchief at Northfield as they came 
down the River, had they not been in company with them : And that the faid 
Wahacoet told him that they were fent out by the ffrench, and had orders to 
kill Englifh, Indians, Dutch and Maquas, and that he ihould bring no Englifh 
captives but only their fcalps ; and advifed the Englifh inhabitants to be careful 
of themfelves. — That about three days after, this examinant heard that five 
Indians were killed and others taken by Indians at Spectacle Pond near Spring- 
field : And about three weeks after, that 3 men and 2 women and a girl were 
murdered by Indians at Northfield, which this examinant verily believes was 
done by the faid 1 1 Indians. ' 

From an allusion contained in a letter written by Col. Pynchon, 
it is evident that the killing of these six persons was done at night or 
early morning ; and that the families assaulted lived near Clary's 
mill. A mass of human bones lying as if in one grave, with some 
rusty nails and knots to indicate rude coffins, was found by H. W. 
Webster, when cutting down the bank to make room for a wall south 
of his new barn. The remains of coffins sufficiently attest the fact 
that they are the bones of white settlers ; and the proximity to the 
fort (which stood a few rods to the south), whither the slain would 
naturally be carried, indicates that this was the common grave of the 
6 victims. 

The utter consternation which seized the people at this " amaz- 
ing stroke," is well illustrated by the fact that they dared not carry 
the bodies of their friends to the cemetery for burial ; that one-half 
the families immediately left the town ; and that the names of the 
persons killed were no where recorded. Careful investigation leaves 
no reasonable doubt, however, that the miller, John Clary, and his 
daughter Sarah, aged 15, were two of the number. 

Early the same day, Samuel Janes and Josias Marshfield (the latter 
a garrison soldier), were despatched to carry the news to Col. Pyn- 
chon at Springfield. " The savages were at the upper end of the 
rown when y e messengers left." 

" Auguft 17. I fent away Lieut. Thomas Colton with 16 foldiers from 
Spring* 1 to Northfield to furprife and take y e Indians and puriue y m , who were 
upon y e fervice 6 days, they returning back y e 23d of Auguft. I alfo ordered 
Lieut. Taylor and his Troop of 34 men to move towards y e upper towns. I 

1 Matt. State Archive, CXX1X, 3 40. 

Resettlement of Squakbeag. 1 1 7 

alfo Tent to Hartford for 30 or 40 Indians to go to Northfield, but only 2 
coming up, I difbandcd y m . 

" Auguft 19. I fent 6 men to Quaboag, y 9 people then being about to re- 
move : ordering and urging their continuance, only I fent to fetch off fuch 
women as defired to come away. 

" Auguft zi. Two men, viz. Eben r Graves and John Petty were fent from 
Spring d to garrifon Northfield, who ftaid there till the 4th of September."— 
Pyncbo^s Diary. 

During Gov r Andros's progress from New London to New York, 
he received tidings of the Indian massacres in Massachusetts, and an 
order for troops to be furnished by Hartford reached Springfield Aug. 
25, which was transmitted by Col. Pynchon the next day. Accord- 
ingly they sent from Hartford Sergt. John Bigelow with 15 soldiers 
on y e 29th of August, who staid in garrison at Northfield till Oct. 
9th, when they were all dismissed. 

The same day 2 lbs. of powder and 6 lbs. of lead were forwarded 
to Northfield. 

Sept. 6. Thomas Powell, James Mun and Nathaniel Blackleach 
were sent to garrison Northfield, and 25 lbs. of powder and 49 lbs. of 
bullets were sent by the same convoy. Mun remained in service 
22 days, Blackleach 64 days, Powell 69 days, the last 5 of which he 
spent in scouting. 

Sept. 11. Joseph Marks was ordered to Northfield for 1 week, 
and 4 fire lock guns were sent up for the garrison. 

The records furnish evidence that Col. Pynchon, then the com- 
manding officer in old Hampshire, was a true man, and did all that 
could be reasonably expected of him, to protect the frontiers. But 
the fact that he held his commission under Andros, 1 who was regarded 
by the people as a usurper and despot, greatly impaired his authority 
and paralyzed his efforts. A letter which he wrote early in Novem- 
ber of this year, gives a characteristic picture of affairs, and has an 
important historical significance. 

" Laft Sabbath-day morning, I had a Poll fent me from Northfield fignify- 
ing that y® enemy was about them by many demonftrations : The watch in y e 
night difcovered fome to be about y e garrifon, heard Indians whiftle ; In y a 
morning early a man y l went a little way from y 9 garrifon found y 9 cattle 
frighted, heard an Indian dog bark in y 9 fwamp. Eight men of the garrifon 
foldiers y l went out found tracks of Indians, fome bare foot and fome with 
ihoes. They defired foldiers to fcout out and prevent their doing mifchief. 

* Andros made Pynchon colonel of the Hampshire regiment in 1687, and Capt. Aaron 
Cooke major. After the fall of Andros, Pynchon returned to the rank of major, and Cooke 
to that of captain. 

1 1 8 History of Northfield. 

I prefently chat very Sabbath day (knowing it would be too late if I flayed till 
they were deftroyed and y l it was better to prevent and might be a great check 
to y e enemy our being beforehand) fent away 15 men from Springfield who 
readily attended ; gave orders to y e upper towns for more to make up 50. At 
Northampton Serg'. King cavilled about my power, hindered y 8 Committee of 
Militia, told them Springfield men would not obey me (though it proved other- 
wife), that I had no power and they mattered me not and would not give 3 
fkips of a loufe for it, faid y e Court could aft nothing. He and Pomery [Capt. 
Medad] bid defiance to y a old commifsioned officers. Such a height of pride 
are matters come to there y l nothing could or would be done by or from my 
orders and directions. But they faid they would, if any came from Springfield, 
go as volunteers ; and fo there went about 10 men that way. In all upwards 
of 40 men went to Northfield, ranged the woods, returning laft Thurfday, but 
difcovered nothing." 

To go back to near the date of the murders at Northfield — Gov. 
Andros wrote, Aug. 25, 1688, from New York, to Major Gold : 

* "I cannot tell you how much I am concerned at the f 11 mifchief 
and aftors efcaped. You are therefore to take care that due watch and ward 
be kept in your refpedtive out places till further orders, and give notice to all 
Indians in your parts that if any mifchief be done by ftrangers and they do not 
apprehend the aftors, or if not ftrong enough prefently to give us nonce and 
join with our Militia, fuch mifchiefs will be imputed to them." 1 

Some weeks later, he sent the following official letter to De Non- 
ville, Governor of Canada : 

"Albany Sept. 19, 1688. 
" Sir — I am forry for the occafion fince my laft letter, to acquaint you that 
I have an account of 5 of our Indians being murdered in their dwellings at a 
place called Spectacle Pond near Springfield on the Connecticut River ; and 
fince of 6 Chriftians being likewife murdered at Northfield a fmall and the 
uppermoft fcttlement we have on that River ; by Indians from your parts. 
And now I am afsured was by fome fent out by yourfelf, after the fignification 
of the Truce, who being well known, fome of their names are here inclofed. I 
have alfo fcen your letter to Gov r Dongan of the 20th paft by which you avow 
the not having reftrained your Indians from hoftility, till applications or afsu- 
rances from ours : which I think very extraordinary, and need not fay the 
importe, or what may be the confcquences thereof: but (if not already done) 
do defire you will forthwith fend the faid murderers to me. 

S r 
Y T moft humble ferv 1 

E Andross.'' 

Andros wrote again to the.Gov' of Canada, October 1, enclosing 

1 Man. &atc Archives, cxxix, 137. 

Resettlement of Squakbeag. 1 1 9 

a copy of the above letter, which shows that no notice had been taken 
of his demand. 

De Nonville answers both letters Oct. 23. His reply is diplo- 
matic, equivocal ; makes counter charges of bad faith ; but plainly 
means no attempt to surrender the Indian murderers. 1 

Oct. 8, Ed. Randolph writes : 

" That morning his Excellency Gov. Andros, arrived from Albany at New 
York [Oct. 1], he had advices that men were raifed at Bofton without his 
order, and fent to Cafco Bay to afsift the Chriftians there againft the Indians 
who had committed fome diforders thereabouts : all which and the uncertainty 
of reports from the eaftward engages his Excellency to go from New York over- 
land to Bofton (intending to vifit Northfield Springfield and other towns alarumed 
by thole mifchiefs) to prevent a fecond Indian war." 2 

Andros left New York soon after the 8th of Oct. : spent a brief 
time at Hartford with John Allyn, and the other " principal officers 
and magistrates" of Connecticut; held a consultation with Col. Pyn- 
chon at Springfield, and reached Hadley the 14th or 15th. The 
real object of this visit (nominally to inquire into the condition of the 
Northfield plantation, and devise means for the safety and welfare 
of the distressed inhabitants of the frontiers) appears from the follow- 
ing respectful report of the " Committee for Northfield," dated 
Northampton Oct. 30, 1688, and addressed to Gov r . Andros at 
Boston : 

" May it pleafe y r Excellency to remember when y r Honor was at Hadley, 
you was pleafed to fend^for us the Committee impowered for refettling of 
Northfield, to come before youdelf, to give you an account by what power we 
have acted in order to the refettlement of that place. In obedience to your* 
defire, we have drawn up a brief account by what power we have acted 
and what we have done in order thereunto." [Then follows a careful 
fummary of the doings of the Committee from 1682 to date, with an attefted 
copy of the a& of the General court, and a lift of fettlers. They clofe in 
thefe words] : " Hon d Sir, We have had a great deal of care and trouble in 
the refettling of this Plantation. Many have had grants and have forfeited 
them again, fo that we have had many meetings about it, which have not been 
without great expenfe of time and fome charges to us. But we were willing 
to be_;at any pains fo that we could fettle the place. 

" While we were writing of this, we did receive a paper from Northfield in- 
habitants wherein [they did defire the inhabitants which are not there may be 
fent away [which have failed to occupy their grants or have defcrted the place 
may be declared forfeirof their rights], or elfe it will be hard for them to hold 
the place, becaufe it doth difcourage thofe that arc there ; they fear the place 

« N. T. Coll. Doc., in, 557, 569. >N. T. Coll. Doc, in, 569. 

1 20 History of Northfield. 

will be deferted. We have not elfe, but hope y r Honor's wifdom will direfl 

to what may be for the beft for the place. 

So wc reft Y r humble ferv ts 

William Clarjcs 
William Holton 
John King 
Preserved Clap." 1 

Sir Edmund and suite went from Hadley to Brookfield Oct. 16; 
and from, there to Worcester and Marlborough. What he did at the 
latter place is best told in the following affidavit : 

" Henry Kerley aged about 57, and Thomas How aged 35, both inhabitants 
of Marlborough, do teitify that in the fall of the year 1688, when S r Ed. Andros 
came from New York to Bofton, fometime after the Indians had killed fome 
Englifhmen at Northfield, coming through our town of Marlborough, the f S r 
Edmund examined this deponent, Henry Kerley, by what order we did fortify 
and garrifon our houfes : I anfwered, it was by order of Capt. Nicholfon. 
Said S r Edmund then faid he had no power (b to do. ' S r Edmund examined 
what arms we made ufe of and carried with us on our watch, and what charge 
was given us : Anfwer was made by this deponent, they carried lire arms, and 
y 8 charge was to keep a true watch, to examine all we met with, and fecure 
fufpicious perfons that we met with. Said S r Edmund faid, what if they will 
not be fecured, and what if you mould kill them. Anfwer was made by y e 
deponent, that if we (hould kill them we were in our way. Then Mr. Ran- 
dolph being there in company faid, you arc in y e way to be hanged. S r 
Edmund Andros faid further, that perfons that had left their houfes to dwell in 
the garrifons, if they would not return, others ihould be put in that would live 

Bofton Dec. 27, 1689. Signed Henry Kerley 

Thomas How."* 

About the time of Andros's visit to Hadley, the Rev. Warham 
Mather was engaged 'and sent to Northfield "to be their minister for 
half-a-year." His own petition, sent to the General court some years 
later gives all the facts of the transaction that are known. 

The Petition of Warham Mather Humbly Sheweth — That the autumn 
before the- lalt Revolution, the Hon. Capt. Nicholfon, purfuant of inftrudlions 
rcc d from Sir Edmund Andros, upon murder committed at Northfield in this 
county of Hampfliire, by a certain number of Indians from Canada, who came 
into thofe parts, to take a view efpecially of that Town's circumltances : There 
being a garrifon then there, and the town in danger of being deferted by the 
inhabitants, and that the undertakers that had not as yet removed thither might 
not be difcouraged : That he defired him your petitioner to be their minifter 

1 Mutt. State ArcAivet, cxxix, 306. ■ Matt. State ArcAivet, xxxv, 147. 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 1 2 1 

for half-a-year, which was done accordingly. Suppofing Sir Edmund and his 
Council would reward him for the fame, only care was taken that the inhabit- 
ants find him proviiion. That Sir Edmund being informed what was done, 
promifed to endeavor that an Act mould be pafsed for the payment of him fif- 
teen pounds in money, which fum was according to Capt. Nicholfon's engage- 
ment. But the Revolution happening before any care was taken for the 
payment thereof, your Petitioner hath had no requital for his fervices . There- 
fore he humbly feeks to y r Honors, that an order be made for the payment 
of £15 in money as above faid, having undeniable evidence that you are en- 
couragers of Gofpel minifters : in which ftudy y r fervant is employed, who 
diiires ever to pray for you. l 
Northampton May 18, 1691." 

The claim of Mr. Mather was not denied ; but from the unsettled 
state of affairs or other causes, the money was not granted and paid 
to him till 1700. 

Nov. i, 1688, Gov' Andros, being then in Boston, issued an order 
to the Council of War at Hartford, for raising a company of 60 men 
in the Connecticut colony, to be placed under command of Col. 
Robert Treat, and sent to North field. The order was received at 
Hartford on the 9th ; and the required company recruited, mustered, 
and sent up the river in command of Capt. Jonathan Bull, and re- 
mained in garrison at Northfield through the winter. These troops 
afforded a sufficient protection to the inhabitants ; but as the Govern- 
ment had no commissary department, the soldiers, who were quartered 
on the families, ate up their substance. There could not have be?n 
more than 15 families left in the town, which gave an average of 4 
soldiers to a household. 

[The revolution which drove King James from the throne, and 
placed William and Mary there, began in Nov r 1688. The king 
abdicated Dec. 11, and William and Mary accepted the crown Feb. 
13, following. April 18, 1689, the people of Boston seized Andros, 
and restored the old governor, Simon Bradstreet.] 

1689. The first glimpse we get of the Northfield settlers this 
spring, is through the following petition sent to the General court. 
It is in the hand writing of Rev. John Russell of Hadley. 

"The tears, fears and groans of the broken remnant at Northfield prefenting 
themfelves before the Honored General Court at Bolton, 

Shew : " That we are indeed obje&s of your pity and commifseration, more 
than we know how to exprefs or maintain a due fenfe of: the ftate of our 
outward man is very afflictive, and for our fouls we have need to cry aloud 

1 Matt. State Archive^ xxxvu, 3 1 . 

122 History of Northfield. 

Have pity on us ! for the hand of God hath touched us, and y e Almighty hath 
dealt bitterly with us ! A bitter cup of forrow, blood and flaughter was reached 
forth to us in y e former Indian War. Our place burnt, and laid defolate, our 
people flain, and y e reft all driven away ; y e town not only left wafte but alfo 
bearing fad marks of divine wrath in that defolation. 

•' Since which we thought we faw y e Lord calling us to rebuild thofe waftes, 
went up under an expe&ation of having 40 families fpeedily dwelling there. 
About 25 were come, and we in a hopeful way, when y e Divine hand fmote 
us again with an amazing ftrolce. Six perfons in a moment flain by Indians laft 
fummer, which was aftonifhment to all y e reft. Since which half of our fmall 
number have dcferted us, yet keep the land which by covenant is not theirs till 
they have dwelt upon it four years. Hereby we are reduced to twelve mean 
families. Our fmall number, in a place fo remote, expofed us to y° rage of y° 
heathen ; as it were inviting them to prey upon us. Our eftates are exhauft by 
maintaining garrifon foldiers and being kept from our labor. Our burdens of 
watching, warding, fencing, highways — we for ourfelves and them that are 
abfent — overbearing to us ; befides all other hardfhips unavoidable in a new 
place. Our wives and children (that we fay not ourfelves) ready to fink with 
fears. We have no foul food, nor fee any likelihood of attaining any. * 
* * If you fee meet to order us to throw up all, and leave it wholly to the 
enemies, and their infulting, Tho its hard (we feel it) we would fubmit. If 
we ftay, we could humbly beg, if your Honors fee meet, that thofe that have 
lots among us may be caufed either to come and dwell on them, or quit them to 
others that would. And that fuch as come may be ordered to have the next 
lots to them that are now inhabited. And that we may have a Committee for 
our help to order our public occafions in this our weak beginning. * * * 
and ever praying y e Lord's blefsing on you remain 

Y* humble fervants 

Samuel Davis 
June 27, 1689. Micah Mudge 

In y° behalf of all y l are left at Northfield " 

In answer to this petition, Peter Tilton Esq., Mr. Samuel Partrigg, and Mr. 
John King were appointed a Committee " to act at their discretion." 

"July 30, 1689. About y e end of laft week I had an account from North- 
ampton that they had rcc a intelligence from Northfield that a lad there faw an 
Indian y' had taken up his ftand between y e two garrifons (one of y m being 
a fmall one which fecures their pafsage to and from their meadows) Some men 
going to y e place faw his Hand, and the bufhes fet up, but y e Indian was gone : 
alfo in fome other places fkulking Indians have been feen, y' we arc alarmed 
thereby. Some fpeedy care mult be taken to call y m off from Northfield or to 
fend up fome men to fecure y m there. I formerly laid y 8 cafe of Northfield 
before y r Honors and defired y r lending 16 or 20 men thither, which I requeft 
may not be delayed ; and y' further orders are necefsary, cither y r appointing 
fome other perfon to manage affairs here which I like beft, or ftrengthening my 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 123 

hands (fomc queftioning everyrhing) by fome full and plain order, which there 

is need of, fome reckoning all buc a (hew of Government throughout New 


John Pynchon. 

To Hon. Simon Bradftreet. 

P. S. [ received a letter from Mr. Tilton, Mr. Partridg and Mr. King, y° 
Committee for Northfield, * * * that meeting to confider about y c prefent 
date of the place, do conclude there to be a prefent neceffity of relief by fome 
garrifon foldiers for the which to go up, or elfe to draw ofFy c people, the latter 
of which (they fay) they mult have better advice before they can incline to. 
The former which (they fay) they incline to " needs (to take their own words) 
as we judge y e accommodation of 20 men, efpecially at this time, for the obtain- 
ment of which we fee no way but for yourfclf to put forth the power devolved 
on you for imprefsing of men, y° Committee of Militia here being dull and 
unhinged in y° work without your warrant, which will thoroughly fupply all 
their defe£ls and fcruples. If you will by warrant gather y° men out of y e 
county, the thing will be effected" — thefe are their own words. * * * I am 
now about ordering 20 men out of hand, which will be more difficult to ob- 
tain than you can imagine by reafon of fickness, and at prefent mull be out of 
the 3 next towns Deerfield excepted, becaufe they rather need a fupply alfo ; 
But I will take care to difpatch away fome to keep garrifon, it may be for a 
week or thereabouts, till you may fend fupply and further orders, which I 
wait for." l 

The authorities at Boston were slow to move in the matter. 
Samuel Partridge, one of the Committee, sent up a man to keep go\r- 
rison 4 weeks. Andrew Warner of Hatfield was on garrison duty 
14 days. And Col. Pynchon sent men at different times to meet 

November 5, 1689, The Committee reported : 

" We whofe names are underwritten being ordered by the Gen. Court in 
July lail, as a Committee for ordering y° prudentials of y u plantation of North- 
field : In obedience whereunto we have met together and confidered ye great 
difsarifla&ion and confternation that is upon the fpirits of the inhabitants that 
are left on faid plantation (which is about ffburteen ffamilies) which is that 
many ffamilies and others that have taken lands there and were by a joint 
agreement to live upon f d lands with their ffamilies, if married, four years, and 
in their own perfons if fingle, before they could dispofe of f d lands, have now 
deferted the place by their removal away before the time expired, fo that 
mould times remain unquiet with reference to the Heathen, the inhabitants of 
f 1 place mull necefsarily be drawn off and the place deferted, which would 
prove a great inconvenience to the whole country ; or elfe a garrifon main- 
tained in P 1 place at the country's charge, which will be greatly expenfive — 

« Matt. State Archive:, cvn, 240. 

1 24 History of Northfield. 

We therefore move to this Hon d Court, that an order may be ifsued out f rom 
f d Court, that all fuch perfons or families that have taken up allotments in (* 
place and have not lived upon the fame four years according to agreement, and 
now have deferted the place by their removal away, which are about twenty 
ffamilies 1 may be ordered to return again to f 1 place, or otherwife that their 
lands may be difpofed to fuch conilderable perfons as may be incouraging to the 
refettling of f d place again. * * * 

Subfcribing ourfelves y r humble fervants Peter Tilton 

Samuel Partricc 
John King 

" In anf* to a motion made to this Court by the Committee for Northfield, 
referring to the broken ftate of the place, many of the inhabitants, contrary to 
their engagements defening f d place and thereby expofing y a remaining inhabit- 
ants to great hazzards and inconvenience by y e prefent enemy or otherwife — 
It is therefore refolved by the Reprefentatives, that the inhabitants who defert 
f d place (hall return within four months either in their own perfons or provide 
fufficient men to bear arms and do fervice in their rooms, according to their 
engagements as to continuance for four years, or otherwife, before they have 
a full title to their lands, and in neglect of the aforefaid, their lands may be 
difpofed of otherwife by the Committee. 

Nov r 9, 1689. Eben'Prout, Clerk." 

But the u consternation" had taken too deep a hold on the spirits 
of the " deserters" ; the " fourteen families" remaining were too 
few and feeble ; the action of the Committee and the General court 
had been too dilatory ; and the prospects ahead for the distant frontier 
town — with war already declared between England and France — 
were too dark. The doom of the plantation was sealed. 

How the remnant passed the winter is not known. An order of 
the County court, dated June 25, 1690, gives the winding up of this 
Settlement : 

" This Court doth order that all the inhabitants of Northfield that have any 
corn or other provifions, viz. hogs, horfes, cattle etc. do tranfport it down 
within the fpace of 6 or 8 days ; and that which after faid time aforefaid fixed, 
is yet to fetch, order will be given for the fetching it down for the ufe of the 
country, except what is taken to pay carters or horfemen, except what the 
authorities fee caufe to return to the owners." 

1690-17 1 3. The Northfield settlers generally returned to their 
former homes. Some soon after died, their death being hastened, to 
human appearance, by hardship and watching, and disappointment. 

* The " 20 families" includes those who recently deserted the place, and those grantees 
who did not remove to Northfield to occupy their homesteads. 

Resettlement of Squakheag. 125 

Some waited their chance to resettle the deserted plantation. Some 
removed permanently to Enfield and Westfield ; and a considerable 
number soon after joined a colony that settled at Lebanon, Ct. 

A few disconnected items, of historical value, having a direct con- 
nection with the scene of our narrative, have been gleaned from the 
records in the State archives. 

[To understand some of the events to be narrated, the reader 

should remember that war between France and England was declared 

in 1690, and continued till '98; and that the French governor of 

Canada was tireless in efforts to instigate the Indians living the entire 

length of the New England border, to harass and depredate on the 


"Springfield May 25, 1692. 

* * * The ffrench Gov 1 , hath fent out fome to the Five Nations, to induce 

them to join in the War : as alfo hath fent 3 Indians to the Squakheag Indians 

dwelling in thefe parts [above Deerfield] to be fpeedily there [at Albany] who 

are generally gone back to Albany. * * 

John Pynchon." 

'* A party of Connecticut and our Indians and fome Englifh, who were in 
fearch of the enemy upon the Merrimack River, came upon and took two 
Indians, who faid they were of Albany. They appear to be two of the River 
Indians named Tocomonego and Achitewafs, who were known to fome 
HampQiire county gentlemen. They had their arms and 9 Beavers." 

1693. July 27, a party of 26 Canada Indians suddenly appeared at 
Brookfield, killing and plundering the families of Wolcott, Mason 
and Lawrence, and fled with their captives and much booty towards 
the north. 

* * " Cape Whiting and Capt. Wells with about 30 of their men went up 
to Northfield on Monday laft, July 31, in y° morning, on y° eafl fide of y 8 
River, intending fully to fearch thofc eaftern woods of Northfield : will if they 
light on thofe villains y l did y a mifchief at Brookfield, give 'em a fecond brufh. 
* * * 

The fcout of 4 men, now in, fay that between Northfield and Deerfield, 
they lighted on new tracks which they followed, and found where 20 men as 
they judged had lodged on Sabbath-day night, and at the falls difcovered tracks 
of as many coming downward. — Letter of Samuel Partrigg." 1 

It appears that the River Indians now living near Albany, were ac- 
customed to come to the Connecticut valley every year, for the pur- 
pose of hunting. They were nominally friendly j but were often 
the occasion of disquiet, and probably of some murders. 

1 Man Archi-vn, LXX, 195. 

I 26 History of Northfield. 

In 1695, an act was passed by the General court of Massachusetts 

declaring that " all Indians who shall be round within 5 miles of the 

Conn. River on the easterly side or within 20 miles on the westerly 

side thereof, shall be deemed and accounted enemies and treated as 

such :" large rewards and allowances were offered for killing and 

capturing such stragglers. 

" Springfield Aug. 12, 1695. 

" The enemy Indians have fallen upon fome of our Albany Indians that 
were hunting above Deerfield, who were on this eaft fide of the Great River 
at a fmall riverett called Nafhawealot which runs into the Connecticut about 
6 miles above where Northfield once flood. Capt. Wells writes in thefe words : 
" Aug. 10, 1695. Juil now an Indian called Strawberry his fon, hath made 
an efcape from Nafhawelot above Northfield. He is come in this evening 
much wounded : fays this day about 8 or 9 o'clk in y e morning, the enemy 
made a fhot on them and killed 8 or 9 of them : fo many he reckons he faw 
as good as dead. He fays he faw many canoes : accounts y e enemy to be 40 
or 50 men. He fwam over the Great River to get to Deerfield with one arm 

Capt. Colton ftarted with a body of Troopers of 25 men. 

John Pynchon. 1 

July 14, 1698. Just before sunset, a party of 4 Indians suddenly 
appeared in the upper side of Hatfield North Meadow, and fired 
upon a number of men and boys who were hilling corn. They killed 
John Billings aged 24, and Nathaniel Dickinson Jr. aged 13, and 
took Samuel Dickinson aged 11, and a lad named Charley. They 
shot at Nathaniel Dickinson Sen. and killed his horse ; but he escaped. 
The Indians then took to their canoes which had been concealed near 
by, and started up the river with the captives. 

The news was carried to Deerfield M early in the night ;" just as 
a band of troopers, weary and worn from a two days' scout in the 
woods, came in for rest and refreshment. Snatching a hasty meal, 
and mounting fresh horses, three of these scouts — Corporal Ben- 
jamin Wright (our " Captain Benjamin" of later times), Benjamin 
Stebbins and Jona. Taylor; together with Thomas Wells, Benoni 
Moore, Eben f . Stebbins, Nathaniel Pomeroy, dragoons ; and Corporal 
Gillett, Benjamin King, Jona. Brooks, Samuel Root, Joseph Petty, 
Joseph Clesson, Henry Burt, garrison soldiers (several of whom be- 
came Northfield settlers,) started for the north, with the intention of 
intercepting the savages. Before daylight, after a ride of nearly 20 
miles through the woods, the rescuers reached the Great bend, oppo- 
site the mouth of the Ashuelot. Here they halted and concealed 

1 Mats. Archives, xxx, 368. 

Resettlement of Squakbeag. 1 27 

their horses. In the early dawn they discovered two canoes in the 
distance, rapidly ascending along the eastern bank. Selecting a posi- 
tion on some broken land close to the water, they waited till the canoes 
appeared above the island, and opposite where they stood, when, 
taking careful aim, they fired. One of the Indians was mortally 
wounded ; but with the other three and one of the lads leaped into 
the stream and made for the shore. One lad remained in the canoe, 
and the other quickly turned to rejoin him. An Indian, noticing the 
movement, attempted to shoot him : but his gun missed fire, and he 
rushed upon the boy with uplifted hatchet. In this act he exposed 
himself so that he received a mortal shot from the party on the west 
bank. The boys, both unhurt, quickly paddled across to their de- 

The rest of the story is best told in the quaint language of Cotton 
Mather : 

" Thefe good men feeing their exploit performed thus far ; two Indians de- 
ftroyed, and two children delivered, they fell to praiiing of God : and one 
young man particularly, kept thus exprefsing himfelf: 'Surely 'tis God and not 
me who have wrought this deliverance !' But as we have fometimes been told 
that even in the beating of a pulfe, the dilating of the heart, by a diaftole of 
delight, may be turned into a contracting of it with a Syttole of forrow : In the 
beating of a few pulfe, after this, they fent five or fix men with the canoe, to 
fetch the other which was lodged at an ifland not far off", that they might pur^ 
fue the other Indians, when thofe two Indians having hid themfelves in the 
high grafs, unhappily (hot a quick death unto the young man, whofe exprefsions 
were but now recited. This hopeful young man's brother-in-law was intend- 
ing to have gone out upon this action, but the young man himfelf importuned 
his mother to let him go, which, becaufe he was her only fon (he denied, but 
then fearing (he did not well to withhold her fon from the fervice of the public, 
fhe gave him leave, faying. See that you do now, and as you go along, refign, 
and give up yourfelf unto the Lord ; and I defire to refign you to him ! So 
he goes, and fo he dies." 

This brave and devoted youth was Nathaniel Pomeroy of Deer- 
field. They made his lonely grave on the west bank of the river : 
but his memorial is the island where he fell — which is called 
Pomeroy's island unto this day. 

The treaty of Ryswick was proclaimed in Boston Dec. 10, 1697 ; 
but the Indians continued their raids till the summer of '98. 

But the respite of peace was short. The struggle for supremacy 
in the new world, between the French and English was a vital one ; 
and now was the time to decide it. The English held almost the en- 
tire coast line : but the French had secured the St. Lawrence and its 

128 History of Nortbfield. 

tributaries, and were determined to gain control of the chain of lakes 
to the west. To befriend the Indians, and arouse their jealousies, 
and lead or guide their murderous expeditions against the exposed 
frontier towns, was the readiest way to prevent the English occupa- 
tion, and gain time for planting firmly their own power and institu- 

In May 1702, war was again commenced between England and 
France, and continued till March 30, 17 13. This was known as 
Queen Anne's war. 

The great event of this war in our valley, was the destruction of 
Deerfield by a combined force of French and Indians under Hertel 
de Rouville, Feb. 29, 1704. The number of the assailants was re- 
ported at 200 French and 142 Indians. The number of English 
killed was 47, including 9 soldiers sent as a relief party from Hatfield 
and Hadley. The number of captives taken was 112 : of whom 2 
escaped, and 22 were killed or perished on the way to Canada. Only 
60 returned to their friends. This expedition, under command of 
French officers, was a fair sample of all the frontier assaults of the 
war. Intercourse with that most christian nation, and the teaching 
of her Jesuit Fathers seem to have destroyed all the humane and 
generous traits which belonged to the Indian as a savage. 

Of persons connected with Northneld history, in this affair, are 
the following : Philip Mattoon his w. Rebecca and child, Sarah Field 
(sister of Pedajah), Sergt. Samuel Boltwood and his son Robert, 
killed ; Sarah Mattoon, Joseph Petty and his w. Sarah, Joseph Kel- 
logg, Mary Field (w. of John and mother of Pedajah), Mary Field 
Jr., John Field Jr., were carried into captivity. Mary Field Jr. 
never returned : Sarah Mattoon returned and m. Ens. Zechariah Field. 
Mary Field Sen. was dau. of James Bennett, who was a Northfield 
settler in 1675, The names of others, less directly related to North- 
field affairs, will appear in the Genealogy. 

Two sons of Elder William Janes, viz., Samuel and Benjamin, and 
Moses Hutchinson, son of Ralph, with two other families, had settled 
near together on a fertile tract called Pascommuck, at the north east 
foot of Mt. Tom in Northampton. May 13, 1704, a party of French 
and Indians attacked this hamlet, and killed and captured no less than 
33 persons. Samuel Janes his wife and 3 children, 4 children of 
Benjamin Janes, Moses Hutchinson and one child, and others (in all 
19), were killed. " The English pursuing of them caused the Indians 
to. knock all the captives on the head save 5 or 6." Three of those 
thus stunned were found alive, and subsequently recovered. One of 
the three was Hannah (Bascom) the wife of Benjamin Janes, who in 

Resettlement of Squakbeag. izy 

addition to the blow of the hatchet, was scalped. She was finally 
cured, and they settled in Coventry, Ct., whence he returned to 
Northfield in 1716. The other two were children, sons of Samuel 
Janes, Samuel aged II, and Jonathan aged 8. At his majority Jona- 
than settled on his father's estate in Northfield. Capt. John Taylor, 
a Northfield grantee of 1685, was killed while pursuing the retreating 
Indians with his company of horsemen. 

In the conduct of this war, our people adopted the French and 
Indian method of aggression, i. e. by sending out small parties to points 
where the Indians were supposed to be in camp. But, with one or 
two exceptions, the expedient was not successful. The savages got 
timely warning of the approach of our scouts, and were quickly out 
of harm's way. 

In 1708, Capt. Benjamin Wright began his career as a leader of 
scouting parties to the north, for which he will always be famous in 
the annals of the Connecticut valley. The killing of his father by 
the savages in the attack on Northfield Sept. 2, 1675, when he was 
15 years old, seems to have planted in his heart an ineradicable hatred 
of the Indian race. He once said, that if he took a pappoose, he 
would dash out its brains; for " nits will be lice !" — In February 
of this year, he, at the head of a small scout, went up the river as 
far as the Coasset, near the mouth of Wells's river, (now Newbury, 
Vt.). This was the reputed headquarters of an Indian clan ; but 
none were found. Like the winter war parties on both sides, they 
wore snow-shoes. 1 

About the middle of May 1709, Capt. Wright started up the river, 
at the head of another " war party." He had with him Lt. John 
Wells, Jona. Hoyt, Jabez Olmstead, Timothy Childs, John Burt, 
Eben r Severance, of Deerfield, John Strong and Joseph Root of 
Northampton, Joseph Wait of Hatfield, and Thomas McCreeney. 
They had a pocket compass for their guide. They crossed the 
mountains to Lake Champlain, and went to within 40 miles of Cham- 
blee. May 20, they espied two canoes with Indians in them, upon 
whom they fired, killing 4 as they believed, though they secured but 
one scalp (the French account says they killed two). They cap- 
tured one of the canoes, with its provisions and arms. The next 
day they seized and destroyed 5 canoes. On the way home, they 
met and attacked a party of Indians on French (Onion) river, and as 

'Mar. 13, 1704, the Gen. Court of Mass. ordered 500 pairs of snow shoes and as 
many moccasons, for the frontier?, one-fourth of them for use in Hampshire County. The 
private scouting parties furnished their own rackets ; but were sometimes allowed a part of 
their cost. 

130 History of Northfield. 

they believed killed 4 (the French account says they killed one). In 
this skirmish, Lt. Wells and John Burt were killed, and John Strong 
was wounded, though he was able to be brought home. On their 
return, the following affidavit was made : 

" We whofe names are under written being upon the Great Lake towards 
Canada, on the 20th of this infant being in a fight with a party of the enemy 
come this way towards New England ; in which fight we judge we killed four 
of the enemy, and one in fpecial we got and fcalped him, which fcalp we now 
prefent and [how to yourfelves at this prefent time, and do hereby teftify that 
this fcalp was of our enemy Indian killed in fight as aforefaid, to which we fub- 
fcribe this 28th day of May 1709. 

Y r humble ferv t8 

Benj. Wricht 
jona. hoyt 
Jabez Olmstead 
John Strong" 
" Sworn to before me. 

They alfo declare that they are very certain that they killed 4 as above ; 
and that on French River they killed 4 more, making 8 in all. This they 
affirm to me. Sam 11 Partrigg." 

June 10, the General court voted a bounty of .£12 to Capt. 
Wright, and £6 to each of the nine survivors. 

In the spring of this year (1709) the English government ordered 
the colonies to raise a force for a combined attack on Canada. Mas- 
sachusetts raised and kept under arms for some months 900 men. 
While these troops were waiting near Boston, for the arrival of the 
fleet from Great Britain, Capt. Wright sent the following letter to 

the governor : 

" Northampton Sept. 19, 1709. 
" May it pleafe y r Excellency 

" With fubmifsion and under correction, I would offer my fervice to y r 
Excellency, if that in wifdom you fend forces to Canada from our parts by 
land, that " Here am I, fend me." This year I have done fervice, and hope 
I may again, not that I would trouble y r Excellency, but am willing to go. 

Not clfe, but in duty I fubferibe 

Y r Excellency's moll humble ferv* 

Benjamin Wright." 

But the troops from England failed to arrive, and the expedition 
was abandoned. 

Besides Capt. Wright, other men, who afterwards became North- 
field inhabitants, were now taking their first lessons in war. Ebenezer 
Alexander, in a petition says : — " Ever after the taking of Deerfield 

Resettlement of Squakbeag. 


in Queen Anne's war, I was in the service of the Province." Robert 
Cooper^ in a similar petition says : — "I served as a soldier in Queen 
Anne's war some considerable time, when I was wounded by the 
enemy in my right arm, whereby I lost the use of my elbow joint and 
my arm greatly withered to my unspeakable damage." 

During this war, 103 persons were slain in Hampshire county, or 
in excursions from it, including 47 at Deerfield, 20 at or near Pas- 
commuck, and 36 in various places. Not less than 123 were taken 
captive, many of whom were slain or died on the way to Canada, 
and others after their arrival there. About two-thirds of the captives 
returned home ; the rest adopted Indian or French habits, and inter- 
married with their captors, or were induced to enter the Catholic 
religious orders. 


Permanent Settlement of Nortbfield, 17 14-1723. 

Oricinal Grant Revived — A New Committee — Rules of Settlement — 
Signers — Slow Progress — Plan of Stockade — A New Departure — 
Rev. James Whitmore — Garrison Soldiers — Great Meadow Fences — 
Grist and Saw-Mills — Large Accession op Settlers — Rev. Benjamin 
Doolittle — Meeting House — Tax List — Town Officers — Black- 
smith — The Farms — Resurvey of Town — Forts — Capt. Joseph Kel- 
locg's Company — Industries — Education — Home Life. 

UEEN Anne's war was brought to a close by the treaty 
of Utrecht March 30, 1713. By the terms of this 
treaty, France ceded to Great Britain the territory of 
Newfoundland and Nova-Scotia ; and relinquished all 
claim to the allegiance of the Five Nations. These important con- 
cessions, taken in connection with the fact, that, soon after the news 
reached America, the leading tribes of New England Indians which 
had been hostile, sent in a flag of truce and made satisfactory ar- 
rangements with the governments of Massachusetts and New Hamp- 
shire, relieved the apprehensions of our people, and gave assurance 
of a lasting peace. 

The surviving proprietors of the Squakheag plantation — or such 
of them as had not located permanently elsewhere — promptly took 
steps to reclaim and resettle their lands, which had now lain desolate 
23 years. 

In the fall of 1 713, a petition was sent to the General court, asking 
for a revival of the former grant, and the appointment of a Committee 
to take charge of the place. 

In the council Feb. 17, 17 14 : — 

" Upon reading the petition of Jofeph Parfons, John Lyman and others, 
praying for a resettlement of a village cr Plantation at Squakheag, formerly- 
called Northfield, the following order pafsed thereupon and concurred by the 
Reprcfentatives : 

Ordered, That forafmuch as by reafon of the interruption given to the Set- 
tlement of the within mentioned plantation granted in Oct. 1672, by war and 
trouble with the Indians : and divers of the original petitioners and grantees 
and alfo the Committee for the fame are fince dead — — The faid grant for a 
plantation be and is hereby revived : and Samuel Partridge, John Pynchon, 

Permanent Settlement, 1 3 3 

Samuel Porter, John Stoddard, Efqrs., and Mr. Henry Dwight are appointed 
and impowered a Committee, to receive the challenges of all perfons to the 
property and right of land in the faid plantation, and to enter their names with 
fuch others as (hall offer to join with them in fettling a townfhip there. The 
names of all to be entered with the Committee within the fpace of twelve 
months from this rime — giving preference to the defcendants of the original 
petitioners and grantees : — and the faid Committee are further impowered to 
flate the place of the town upon fmal] lots fo as it may be made defensible, 
grant out allotments, and order their prudentials, and what elfe is necefsary for 
their eftablifhment. Provided always, that 40 families be fettled there within 
3 years neat coming: And that they procure and encourage a learned Orthodox 
Minifler to fettle with them. The town to be named Northfield. The town 
to lye in the county of Hampfhire. l 

Confented to, J. Dudl£V. 
Feb. 22, 171 3-14." 

The first step taken by the Committee was to ascertain how many 
former grantees or their heirs were ready to resettle upon their lands ; 
how many claimed their land rights, but would not return to the 
plantation ; and how many new men had purchased estates and were 
willing to go upon them. The result is given in the following docu- 
ment:- — 

April 14, 1 714. Articles agreed to by all tbofe that are now engaging to 
refettle a Plantation or Townjbip above Hadley at a place tailed Northfield, tobicb 
are as /ollou/etb, viz. 

" 1. That all thejuft charges of purchasing fettling dividing and laying out to 
each inhabitant, and for the miniftry or other public ufes the feveral allotments 
needful for the accommodation aforefaid, be borne and paid on proportion to 
what each inhabitant is veiled in, except what is laid out already and y e former 
meafures and bounds is apparent. 

2. That for the firft five years, for all charges arifing, it is agreed that fuch 
charges {hall be rated according to grant to the number of acres each inhabitant 
hath, as alfo herds of flock and other rateable eflate, according to law. 

" 3. That after the feveral grants as of record be fettled either on the ancient 
propriety or their defcendants, or fuch others in their behalf as y° Committee 
fee meet to accept, or upon their denial to join and go as inhabitants others be 
placed in their room — the remainder of accommodation in land fhall be to 
fettle new inhabitants to the number of 40 inhabiters in the whole, to the ac- 
ceptance of the Committee. 

" 4. All Common Fences (that are not already laid out) to be laid out about 
the feveral fields by lot, at the voice of tne proprietors of each Field in due 

1 Hampshire county then embraced the entire western part of the Province of Massachu- 
setts. Berkshire county was established April 27, 1761 ; Franklin, June 24, 181 1 ; Hamp- 
den, February 20, 1812. 

1 34 History of Nortbfield. 

proportion to the land each inhabitant enjoys, and fo to be made and maintained 
according to law for ever, allowing for any old ditches that may remain what is 

" 5. That the Town-Plot be dated in the old place, in fuch form and meafure 
as the Committee can allow it, according to the Court's order. 

" 6. That each inhabitant (hall fence, build, and actually inhabit there 
within two years from the date of the Court's, order or grant to them, viz., 17 
Feb. 1 7 14 ; as also by faid time to procure and fettle there an orthodox 
Minifler at furtheft within three years' rime from faid date or as much sooner 
as they can. 

" 7. That as to all the Home-lots on the weft fide of the Town ftreet, the 
rear of faid home-lots' fence fhall have one-half of faid fence to be accounted as 
Public Fence, and the whole to be under the viewers for the fecurity of the 
Great Meadow before the town. 
Signers : Benjamin Wright 

Ebenezer Wright 

Nathaniel Alexander 

Judah Hutchinfon 

Jofeph Alexander, on his father's right 

Jofeph Parfons, on his father's right 

Ifaac Warner, on his father's right 

William Boltwood, on his father's right 

Timothy Hillyard, on his father's right 

Jofeph Clary, on his father's right 

Jofeph Root, on his father's right 

Eleazar Warner, on Daniel Warner's right 

Mofes Lyman, on his father's right 

"April 17, 1 7 14. Upon a morion made by feveral perfons to come in by 
purchafe of other men's rights — Allowed, in cafe they make out their title, and 
be to the acceptance of the Committee. 

Signers : Jofeph Severance, In John Holmes' right 
Zechariah Field, In Rob 1 Lyman's right 
Ifaac Mattoon, In John Lyman's right 
Hezekiah Stratton, In Samuel Davis' right 
Peter Evens, In John Woodward's right 
Eleazar Mattoon, In Jofeph Warriner's right 
Thomas Taylor, In Jofeph Dickinfon's right 

The above fubfcribers have entered their names agreeing to the within written 
Articles to go as inhabitants to Northficld ; in cafe they prove their Title to be 
firm and good, are accepted as others : 

Attest Samuel Partr idc e 1 Committee 
Samuel Porter > for 

Henry Dwight j Northfield" 

Permanent Settlement. 135 

The Committee appointed the following officers for the new planta- 
tion : Dea. Ebenezer Wright of Northampton, town clerk ; Capt. 
Benj. Wright, Lt. John Lyman, Dea. Ebenezer Wright, Judah 
Hutchinson, Sergt. Thomas Taylor, measurers of land. 

Of the 20 engagers, not more than 8 went upon the ground the 
first season, viz., Capt. Benj. Wright, Joseph Alexander, Nath 1 
Alexander, Isaac Warner, Zechariah Field, Hezekiah Stratton, Peter 
Evens, Thomas Taylor. Of the remainder, Eben f Wright, Joseph 
Parsons, Judah Hutchinson, and Moses Lyman continued to reside 
at Northampton ; William Boltwood died while returning from 
Canada in August ; Joseph Severence soon sold out his right to Jona. 
Patterson ; Isaac Mattoon did not come till some years later ; 
Eleazar Mattoon came the next year ; the others sold their rights to 
different parties, as will appear in course. 

Reserved Lands. — At the outset, a home-lot and a full share in 
the meadows and outlands were set apart for a minister ; a lot of 
meadow land was reserved for a smith ; also lota for both grist and 
saw-mills ; and several large tracts (not yet designated) for u the 
ministry and school." These last were called " sequestered land." 

Hindrances. — The General court enjoined the Committee to give 
preference, in accepting settlers, to "the descendants of original 
petitioners and grantees."- This seemed an act of simple justice ; 
but it proved a serious clog on the enterprise. The heirs of' these 
former grantees, very naturally, were disposed to wait the issue of 
the new project before deciding, either to return, or to make sale of 
their rights. A successful resettlement of the place would greatly 
enhance the value of those rights. And it appears that the lands of 
non-signers were not taxable for town charges ; neither could the 
non-resident owners be held to pay charges for fencing common 
fields. And such fields were the main dependence for tillage and 
grass, and were of little value without continuous fence. 

1 7 15. Eleazar Mattoon was the only addition to the settlers this 
spring. In view of the hindrances and inequality arising from the re- 
fusal of non-residents to sell or inhabit, the Committee made applica- 
tion to the General court for new powers ; and at its session June 10, 
1 7 15, the following order was passed: — 

" On Petition of Sam 1 Partridge and John Stoddard Efq» & Mr. Henry 

" Ordered — That the order of this court pafsed Feb^ 1 7 1 \ for the fettlemcnt 
of the town of Northfield be further continued for 3 years more : 

i 3 6 

History of Northfield. 















] roJj 

J rod* 











j rod* 

) rod* 


Permanent Settlement. 137 

" That the Committee be dire&ed to fettle the town in the mod regular and 
defenfible manner that may be : 

" That all Town Taxes in Northfield for the fpace of 5 years next coming 
be raifed on polls as the law directs, and on the lands that are or Ihall be di- 
vided or allotted out, and that when a General or Common Field is agreed upon 
to be fenced in for improvement, the proprietors of the enclofed land fhall pay 
their juft proportion towards the charges of making and maintaining the fence, 
whether they improve their land or not. And if any fuch proprietors are out 
of the Province, then their enclofed lands fhall Hand chargeable therewith until 
it is paid." 

This act of the court met the case, so far as legislation was con- 
cerned ; but the immediate effect was not apparent. 

In order to carry out the wish of the court relating to the " regular 
and defensible manner " of building the town, the Committee decided 
upon a plan, which, while offering greater security yet entailed in- 
conveniences and expense, which more than counterbalanced the ad- 
vantages. The first comers had severally taken the home-lots which 
they held by right or purchase, and were thus much scattered. Eleazar 
Mattoon was north of Mill-brook. Peter Evens built near the north, 
and Zechariah Field near the south end of the street. There was 
yet no fort or garrison house. And as a measure of defence as well 
as supposed convenience, a plan was adopted by the Committee, with 
a view to bring all the dwellings of settlers into a small compass, and 
surround the whole with a stockade, as was done in the Settlement 
of 1673. This would necessitate the removal of houses already 
erected outside the proposed limits ; and was in its nature a temporary 
expedient, and unequal in its working. Whoever (except the owners) 
built on the designated space, must expect soon to remove, or re- 
build on their own land. 

The proposed Stockade. — " At a meeting of the Committee for Northfield 
at Northampton, July 12, 1715, it was agreed — In order to make the place 
more defenfible, that the town-plot for prefent building, fhould begin South- 
wardly about 4 rods upon the fouth fide of John Hilyard's lot, and to extend 
up the ftreet northwardly 60 rods, and 30 rods in width eaft and weft. And 
the highway being 10 rods in width, and fo to take out of the front of each 
man's lot for the 60 rods inclufive, on the eaft and weft fides refpectively, to 
rods in width — the faid plot being in the form following, viz : [see opposite p.] 

" And whereas, In the aforefaid Plot, there is land taken out upon the weft 
fide of the Town ftreet 10 rods wide from the front of John Hilyard's, Joseph 
Brook's, Thomas Taylor's, and Hczckiah Stratton's lots, and upon the eaft fide 
as much out of Capr, Benj. Wright's, Ebenczer and Increafe Clark's and Nath 1 

138 History of Nortbfield. 

Alexander's lots, the Committee do conclude and agree that, during fuch timj 
as the front of faid lots are improved as aforefaid, the owners (hall have reafon- 
able fatilTaclion for the fame ; and upon the confiderarion aforefaid the feveral 
owners do acquit and releafe their rights in the faid land for the ufe aforefaid, 
for fuch time as the Committee or Town (hall agree." 

This plan, which gave 24 building lots, was agreed to by the owners 
of such lots as were included within the proposed stockade (except 
Hezekiah Stratton), but was rejected by all the rest, and the project 
was abandoned. * 

At their meeting July 12 (as above), the Committee appointed 
town officers, as follows : Benoni Moore, surveyor or town 
measurer in the room of Lieut. John Lyman ; Zechariah Field, sur- 
veyor of highways ; Hezekiah Stratton and Eleazar Mattoon, fence 
viewers ; and order, That they cause the fence about the Great 
meadow to be put m repair. 

The Committee aifo order, 

That the furveyors meafure out the feveral allotments in Bennett's Meadow 
and bound them according to their feveral quantitys of acres, and make report 
to the Committee, and to render an account of what land remains : And that 
they meafure and bound men's allotments in Pachage Meadow, and make re- 
port of what remains : And that they meafure men's allotments in the Great 
Meadow by the Town, and report what common land remains, and place 
boundaries where they find none between men's lots ; And that they find a 
convenient place for a Home-lot for Benoni Moore, and a quantity of meadow 
land fuitable for his accommodation, and give an account of the refpe&ive places 
and the feveral dimenfions of the particular parcels to the Committee. 

Sam"- Partridge ) Com tee 
John Stoddard [■ for 

Sam"- Porter ) Northficld. 

1 716. The Home-lots granted this year, and the " new comers " 
with families, were, Benoni Moore, Remembrance Wright, Jona. 
Patterson, and Dea. Benj. Janes ; and Jonathan Janes and Daniel 
Wright, without families. John Hannum was here through the summer. 
Dea. Janes took possession of his father's (Elder William Janes) 
rights j Jonathan Janes took his father Samuel's rights, which he ex- 
changed Aug. 25, 1 718 with Joseph Petty for the Ralph Hutchinson 
lot, where he and his descendants have since resided. 

1 This proposed stockade took in the space from a little below the south line of Jonathan 
Belcher's home-lot, to where the Parson Mason house stands, and the corresponding space 
on the west side or" the street. The enclosure or stockade of 1673, was probably fashioned 
on much the same general plan, but was smaller, and located a little to the south. 

Permanent Settlement. 

J 39 

March 8, 1716. At a meeting of the Committee, town officers 
were appointed as follows : 

Peter Evens, constable and collector. 
Zechariah Field and Hezekiah Stratton, fence viewers. 
Eleazar Mattoon, surveyor of highways. 
Remembrance Wright, field driver: 

" And it was ordered, That the Town Meafurers proceed to apportion the 
common fence about the Great Meadow, fetting out to each man one rod and 
a half per acre for his land in faid Meadow, each man's feveral quantities being 
fet out and itaked, in the following order of fuccefsion — beginning at or in the 
River at the fouth end of f a meadow, running to or into the River at the north 
end of f 1 meadow, not accounting the northwardly half of the fence at the rear 
of each man's Home-lot in the fuccefsion, the proprietors of f 1 home-lots being 
obliged by law to make P 1 half as their dividend fence." 

" A lift of the Fence about the Great Meadow by the Town, taken March 
31, 1716, beginning at the South end. CapL Wright's fence being, forty-four 
rods twelve feet and fix inches, eight rods is allowed for the water-courfe, which 
leaves to 

4 o 
o o 
6 2 


6 8 

r. ft. in. 

Capt. Benj. Wright 36 12 6 

Common fence 12 12 o 

John Hutchinfon 5 40 

Jofeph Root 5 

Jacob Root 6 

Samuel Curtis 1 

Ebenezer and ) 

Iocreafe Clarice j" 

Enoch Randall 10 11 

Jona. Arnold- 5 

Charles Williams 4 

John Hylier 7 

Wm. Janes 'a heirs „ 5 

Peter Evens 8 

Town Fence m 29 14 o 

Wm. Miller Sen. heirs 28 29 

Nathl. Alexander 17 

Sergt. Thos. Taylor, acrofs Miller's 


Nathl. Alexander - 2 

Jos. Lepingwell - 4 

Eben. Wright 8 

Eleazar Warner- 4 






3 3 

5 o 

4 8 

5 * 
8 5 

Lt. Jona. Hunt 6 12 4 

Jofeph Brooks 26 o I 

Mary Davis 1 28 

Ifaac Mattoon 278 

Zechariah Field 2 11 5 

Common Fence - 13 16 

Minister's Fence 7 5 6 

Jofeph Brooks 10 6 o 

Jofeph Severance 6 00 

Benoni Moore, acrofs the S. high- 
way except the Gate 926 

Thos. Taylor, the S. Gate 

Ralph Hutchinfon's heirs 18 

Wm. Janes's heirs 14 

Saml. Janes's heirs 10 

Zechariah Field 10 

Ifaac Mattoon - 10 

Jona. Arnold 10 

Ralph Hutchinfon's heirs 2 

Ifaac Warner 6 

John Hylier \ 8 

Jofeph Brooks 10 

Thomas Taylor 11 

Hezekiah Stratton 1 

Mary Davis J 

Jos. Lepingwell 11 

Jona. Patterfon acrofs the N. high- 
way except the Gate 9 

Jos. Alexander, the N. Gate 

Jos. Alexander 10 

Saml. Curtis 10 

Eben. Wright ... - 10 

Peter Evens 20 

John Clary's heirs 27 

Remem. Wright and Eleazar Mat- 
toon, acrofs Mill brook 

Jofeph Clary 8 

Minister's Fence 10 

Jona. Patterfon o 10 

Hezekiah Stratton 3 

Eben. Boltwood 6 

Minister's fence 10 

Remem. Wright and 

Eleazar Mattoon, the water 
courfe at the River on the North 




























1 40 History of Northfield. 

Memorandum : Capt. Benj. Wright is appointed to maintain the water-courfe 
at the S. end of the Meadow, in confideration of eight rods abatement of his 
proportion of fence : 

Serg'. Thomas Taylor is appointed to maintain the S. Gate and the water- 
courfe in Miller's brook, for which he is abated fourteen and a half rods, four 
feet and feven inches : 

Jofcph Alexander is appointed to maintain the N. Gate, for which he is 
abated eleven rods one foot and three inches of his proportion : Eleazar Mat- 
toon and Remembrance Wright are appointed to maintain the watercourfe in 
the Mill brook and the North watercourfe at Connecticut river for the whole of 
their proportion of fence, being thirteen and a half rods." 

The foregoing list and memoranda are valuable, as showing the 
method of apportioning the fences around common fields ; and also, 
it contains the names of most of the resident and non-resident land 
owners at this date. 

In the course of this year, the Ralph Hutchinson heirs sell their 
lands to Joseph Petty of Coventry, Ct. : Cornelius Merry's heirs 
sell to Robert Cooper of Deerfield ; and the Joseph Parsons lot is 
sold to Lt. Jona. Hunt of Northampton. 

Garrison Soldiers. — "June 10, 1716. On Petition of the 
Committee and proprietors of Northfield, Ordered, that ten men in 
the public pay be allowed for the covering and encouragement of the 
plantation of Northfield, until the session of this Court in the next 
Fall, who are not to be of the Inhabitants there. [Gen. Court Records.'] 

The First Minister. — "At a meeting of the Committee for 
Northfield, Oct. 3, 17 16, Ordered, That a house of about 16 foot 
long and 12 foot wide be forthwith built in Northfield, for the present 
accommodation of a Minister : and that it be set near or adjoining to 
the dwelling-house of such inhabitant with whom the Minister shall 
lodge : And that Capt. Wright, Serg 1 . Thomas Taylor and Zechariah 
Field be a Committee to order and inspect the building of s d house, to 
appoint and procure workmen and materials, and take an account of 
all service and expense about s d building, and render their account to 
the Committee to be by them allowed. 

"The Committee did then desire Mr. James Whitmore to carry 
on the work of the Ministry at N-field for the space of half a 
year, and for his encouragement have agreed to give him twenty-five 
pounds and subsist him and keep his horse." 

It is not known where this house stood. Probably it was placed 
in the street, near the largest dwelling-house then erected, in the 

Permanent Settlement. 141 

kitchen of which the Sabbath services could be held during the cold 

W. H. Whitmore Esq., of Boston, has kindly furnished the follow- 
ing sketch of the minister then employed: — "The Rev. James 
Whitmore was the third son of Izrahiah and Rachel (Stow) Whit- 
more of Middletown Conn., and was born there 31 Dec, 1695. His 
grandfather was Thomas Whitmore of M. : and though the spelling 
Wetmore has been adopted for the last century by most of his de- 
scendants, it is undoubtedly a local corruption of a very respectable 
and well-known English family name. 

"James Whitmore was of Yale College, A. B. in 17 14, and A. 
M. in 1717. In 1718 he was ordained minister at North Haven, 
Conn., where he remained about four years. In 1722, he joined Rev. 
Timothy Cutler (Rector of Yale College) and others in a public 
statement of doubt as to the validity of Presbyterian ordination : and 
with two or three others Mr. W. went to England, and joined the 
Episcopal Church. He was ordained priest by the Bishop of London 
in 1723, and was sent back to New York as assistant to the Rev. Mr. 
Vesey, Rector of Trinity Church. In 1726 he was called to the 
parish of Rye, West-Chester Co., N. Y., where he remained over 
30 years till his death, 15 May, 1760." 

Oct. 3, 17 16. The Committee appointed Mr. Timothy Dwight 
of Northampton to be surveyor or town measurer for Northfield, 
which office he held for many years. 

Grist Mill. — Up to this date the Northfield families had to sup- 
ply themselves with bread-stuffs, by carrying their grain to Hadley, 
and bringing back the meal and flour. And as all teaming was 
done with oxen (horses were kept solely for the saddle and pillion) it 
was a heavy burden. But now they felt strong enough to have a 
mill of their own. The following document will explain how they 
got it : 

"Dec. 17, 1716. Conditions of Agreement betwixt Steven Belden of Swamp- 
field and the Inhabitants of N-field, with the confent of y° Committee for 
N-field, are as followeth : — The P 1 Bcldcn (hall have 15 Acres of land in 
Bennett's Meadow, and Labour, as below faid, Provided y u f 1 Bcldcn builds 
a fufficient Grift-mill and maintain it forever ; If f d Belden neglect or fail to 
maintain, or refufe P 1 Mill for the Town's ufe, then P Mill with iron and Hone 
and with all appurtenances thereto belonging to return to the town ; and i u 
Mill to be going by next Michaelmas. 

Labor — Thomas Taylor fix day's work 
Peter Evens f\x day's work 

142 History of Northfield. 

Ifaac Warner fix day's work 
Jonathan Pattcrfon, fix day's work 
Jofeph Alexander fix day's work 
Rcmem. Wright fix day'3 work 
Hezekiah Stratton four day's work 
Benoni Moore four day's work" 

Thus encouraged, Mr. Belding bought out the John Clary heirs, 
both home-lot and water privilege, and set his mill on the old dam, 
which was a little nearer the street than the one now existing. 

1 717. Feb. 17, The Committee issued an order declaring all prior 
grants of land, not settled on this year, to be void. 

March 4. At a legal meeting of the inhabitants of Northfield, by 
order of the Committee, for choosing town officers for the year ensu- 
ing : Chose Maj. John Stoddard of Northampton, town clerk. 

Sergt. Thomas Taylor, constable and collector. 

Capt. Benj. Wright, surveyor of highways. 

Benoni Moore, Joseph Alexander, fence viewers for Great meadow. 

Isaac Warner, Eleazar Mattoon, fence viewers for Pachaug. 

Benj. Janes, tything man. 

Jona. Patterson, Daniel Wright, hawards. 

At the same meeting, the town voted that they would have a com- 
mittee to take care of the town land and minister's land, to improve 
it to the best advantage to bear public charges, and chose Capt. Benj. 
Wright, Serg' Thomas Taylor, Benoni Moore s d committee. 

u The above mentioned officers are approved of and allowed and 
confirmed, for the year ensuing this 7th day of March, 1717." 
Signed by Samuel Partridge, John Pynchon, Sam d Porter." 

Up to this date, the Committee had appointed the town officers ; 
but this year and henceforth, the inhabitants were permitted to make 
an election of their officers, subject to the approval and confirmation 
of the Committee. 

As will be seen, two new offices were filled this year, viz., tything 
man, and hawards. It was the duty of the former to inspect the con- 
duct of liquor sellers, Sabbath breakers, night walkers, tipplers, and 
keep order in the meeting house during the Sabbath services. The 
man most venerable for character and years was commonly chosen. 
The duty of the hawards was to drive out and impound all cattle, 
horses and hogs found at loose in the meadows and common fields. 
The law allowed them 2 shillings for taking up a horse, 1 penny for 
a sheep, and 12 pence each for cattle and hogs, to be paid by the 

Permanent Settlement. 143 

Saw-Mill. — Mar. 4, 1717, a grant of 12 acres of upland on the 
back side of Bennett's meadow, was made to Jonathan Belding of 
Hatfield, on condition that he build a saw-mill, to be going by 
Michaelmas next. The saw-mill was put in a short distance below 
the grist-mill. Stephen and Jonathan Belding were brothers, and 
appear to have owned the saw-mill and privilege in equal shares till 
1728, when Jonathan bought out his brother's rights. This mill 
privilege was held by Jonathan and his descendants till 1812 — 95 
years — when it was sold to Ezekiel Webster. Jonathan Belding 
first took the Joseph Root home-lot, [now Timothy Field, C. H. 
Stearns and Mrs. C. O. Lane] which he exchanged in 1725 for the 
Jacob Root lot, where he lived and died. 

May 25, 17 17, Samuel Partridge sent a communication — semi- 
official — to the governor, whjch is valuable for its historical data, as 
well as its suggestions : 

" The Committee is enjoined to fettle 40 families, compad as much as may 
be ; efpecially to have refpefl to the former inhabitants and their defendants — 
upon which we meet difficulty to fetde the place, inafmuch as the molt and the 
belt part of the land is claimed by the defcendants of fuch former inhabitants 
who negledl to go and inhabit: — I humbly propofe whether faid claimants 
ought not to fupply thefe lands with feeders or quit their lands at leait upon 
eafy terms, inafmuch as faid place hath been recovered once and again from 
the enemy at the charge of the public. I am of opinion it would foon be fup- 
plied with inhabitants, were the lands at liberty. There is 12 families there 
now, and fome are going : but the place gets on flowly. As to the garrifon that 
hath been there about 10 months — it confifts of a ferg 1 . and 9 men with him, 
which keep in the place without any defenfive fort ; only abide there well fixed 
in arms and ammunition, to man the place and encourage the prcfent inhabitants. 
I am of opinion if fufficiene means was ufed to ltir up thofe that claim lands 
as aforefaid, to fupply their lands with feeders, and the garrifon men continued 
(and peace) for one year more, the place might be fettled to good advantage." 

What action — if any — was taken by the governor is not known. 
But the effect of the movement, following up the order of Feb. 17, 
was soon apparent. In the course of the season, Isaac Mattoon 
gives up his right in the John Lyman land to his brother Nathaniel, 
and sells the Zachery Lawrence lot to Hezekiah Elmer : the Bolt- 
wood heirs sell to Joseph Burt of Hatfield : Thomas Leffingwell 
sells the Micah Mudge land to Zechariah Field : Samuel Curtis and 
wife sell the George Alexander.lots to Lt. Jona. Hunt : Peter Evens 
sells the John Woodward land to Thomas Holton of Northampton 
(retaining the Thomas Webster home-lot and grants) : Lt. Jona. 
Hunt sells the John Hutchinson lands to Lt. Eliezur Wright of 
Northampton : the heirs of Wm. Miller sell to William Holton 

144 History of Northfield. 

(brother of Thomas) ; Jacob Root sells his rights to Lt. Eliezur 
Wright ; and Stephen and Jona. Belding purchase lots, as already 
stated. Edmund Grandee receives a grant of a home-lot ; and Elie- 
zur Wright Jr. and Azariah his brother become inhabitants. 

This sudden transfer of estates from non-residents to substantial 
inhabitants gave a fresh impulse to the new town. The erection of 
grist and saw mills gave assurance of convenient buildings and com- 
fortable subsistence ; the presence of garrison soldiers, sent by order 
of the state authorities, gave a new sense of protection and security ; 
and the employment of a minister, while it gave them the much 
coveted " soul food," also carried the idea of permanency. For 
" it is as unnatural " — writes Capt. Edward Johnson — " for a right 
New England man to live without an able ministry, as for a smith to 
work his irons without a fire." 

The soldiers were withdrawn in June : and a petition was sent to 
the General court at the opening of the fall session, setting forth that 
" a small garrison in the town of Northfield, would give great en- 
couragement to the settlers in s d town, and secure them against the 
assaults of the Indians who often resort there ;" and Nov. 9, an 
order was passed, u that 10 men be allowed for one year next coming, 
provided they be not of the present inhabitants." 

Rev. Benjamin Doolittle. — After the close of Mr. Whitmore's 
half-year, in April, no minister was employed till late in the fall. 
But the numbers and ability of the inhabitants already there and now 
about to come, appeared to require and to warrant a permanent 
ministrv. With this view the Committee made an engagement with 
Mr. Benjamin Doolittle* of Wallingford, Ct., to supply for the 
winter, and he commenced to preach the second Sabbath in Novem- 
ber -, — beginning what proved to be a long and prosperous pastorate. 
It is very likely that the engagement of Mr. D. was brought about 
through the influence of the Mattoons, who came from Wallingford, 
via Deerfield. And his settlement in the ministry at Northfield 
brought hither the Merriman and Blaksley families, with which his 
family was connected by marriage. 

Dec. 17, 1 71 7. "It was agreed by the Committee for N-field to 
raise a Tax of six shillings on the poll, and twelve pence per acre on 
Meadow-lands, and six pence per acre on uplands lately granted: 
Capt. B. Wright and Ens. Z. Field to take y e List." 

1 Abraham Doolittle was of New Haven, 1640. His ion John settled at Wallingford; 
m. for id w. Grace Blaksley. Their son Benjamin was b. July 10, 1695; Grad. Y. C. 

Permanent Settlement. 


As this is the first town tax levied, and contains a reliable exhibit 
of resident and non-resident land holders at the close of this vear, it 
is printed entire. 

A Town Rate or Assessment, for defraying necessary charges arising 

within y c Town of N-feld. 








/. s. J. 

/. r. 


/. r. d. 

Capt. B. Wright 




Daniel Wright 


Peter Evens 


3 »7 I0 

4 3 


Ebenezer Clarke ( XT . 

. _,, < Northampton 

Increase Clarke ( 

2 13 10 

Hez. Strattoa 


1 16 2 

2 2 


Judah Hutchinson do 

09 2 

Jos. Alexander 


2 3 " 

3 9 


Thomas Root, Lebanon Ct. 


Remem. Wright 


1 8 3 

1 14 


Samuel Hutchinson, Lebanon 


Isaac Warner 


1 18 1 

a 4 


Mary Davis, Northn. 


Ens. Z. Field 


4 11 5 

4 »7 


Eleazar Warner, Hadley 

1 9 4 

Elear. Martoon 


2 17 IO 

3 3 


Joseph Burt, Hatfield 

1 6 8 

Joseph Petty 


2 11 1 

* »7 


Elder Presd. Clap, Northn. 


Benj. Janes 



2 10 

John King, Wm King Sc ye 

Jona. Janes. 


2 11 6 

2 17 


rest of ye chiln. of Capt. King 


Jona. 'Beldin. 


2 5 8 

2 11 


John Holton's chiln. Saml. 

Stephen Beldin 


3 3 9 

3 9 


Holton Sc rest of ye heirs of 
Dea. Wm Holton 


Thos. Holton. 



2 IO 


John Clarke's chiln. Saml. 

Benoni Moore 



> s 

Clarke Sc ye rest of Lt. Wm. 
Clarke's heirs 


Jona. Patterson. 



3 ^ 

Isaac Mattoon, Deerfield 

2 5 11 

Wid. Th. Taylor. 


3 1 '1 

3 7 

1 1 

Charles Williams 

1 9 1 

Robe. Cooper. 


1 18 9 
1 9 3 

2 4 
» IS 


John Stoddard, Northn. 


Hez. Elmore 

Nath. Mattoon 




9« 3 3 

Wm Holton 

3 » 


Approved by 

Elear. Holton 

1 S 


Saml. Partridge ( ( 


Lt. Jona. Hunt of Nhn. 

8 16 


Saml. Portzb -j 


Elier. Wright Sen. 



John Stoddabd ( ] 


Elier. Wright Jr. * 



Hatfield Jan. 29, 171 1. 

Azah. Wright 

° 5 


17 18. This year opens with plain indications that the plantation 
is about to take on more of the characteristics of a town. The set- 
tlers take hold with a will, and lay plans, looking beyond the present 
necessity, to future enlargement. Four years ago, the work of the 
eight families was mainly to find the old marks and paths. The old 
lines were reestablished ; the old highways accepted and followed. 
The main street through the village was ten rods wide, and was laid 
from Miller's brook to where they went down into Pauchaug. When 
a settler made the journey to Hadley, he struck off near where the 
south road to Warwick now leaves the street, and went west of Dry 
swamp, across Beers's plain and so down over what was called the 

146 History of Northfield. 

"common road to Sunderland" — though this path was not then 
a public highway. The south lane to the Great meadow and Ben- 
nett's meadow ran near its present location. The north lane to the 
meadow was where it now is, and was laid ten rods wide from the 
top of Meadow hill to the woods east. These ways were all estab- 
lished during the earlier Settlement. The path from the entrance to 
Pauchaug to the Moose-plain ferry probably varied with the season 
and condition of ground and crops. This year, the 8 settlers are in- 
creased to 26 ; and they begin to lay out new highways, and plan 
other new things " for conveniency." 

A Home for the Minister. — Mr. Doolittle had married a month 
before commencing his labors at Northfield ; and the 16x12 tene- 
ment built for Mr. Whitmore, was not commodious for a parsonage. 
And the first business of the Committee this year was to find a home 
for the new minister and his wife. At a meeting Feb. 19, " Mr. 
Dwight was desired to treat with Dea. Eliezur Hawks about an ex- 
change of lots so as to accommodate the minister; and Capt. 
Wright and Ensign Field were instructed to endeavor to hire Lieut. 
Taylor's house for Mr. Doolittle for the present." It will be re- 
membered that a home-lot and other lands were reserved for a 
minister ; but neither had been located. Lieut. Thomas Taylor — 
one of the most promising young men of the new plantation — 
was drowned the preceding autumn ; and the plan was to hire his 
house of the widow (a daughter of Dea. Hawks of Deerfield) as a 
temporary expedient. The house was secured, and Mr. D. and his 
wife took possession early in the spring, though it was not till October 
that an exchange of lots was finally agreed on. The Taylor lot 
where Mr. Doolittle lived and died, was the present L. T. Webster 
lot ; the Minister's lot, was the one known in later years as the Dr. 
Blake lot. . 

Grants of home-lots and interval lands were made this year, to 
Samuel Orvis of Farmington, Ct. ; to Josiah Field (brother of Ensign 
Zechariah) ; to Benoni Crafts of Hatfield ; to Benjamin Wright Jr. : 
to William Sanderson, and to Theophilus Merriman of Wallingford, 

March 3. At the town meeting, this date, the following officers 
were elected : 

Maj. John Stoddard, town clerk. 

Thomas Holton, constable. 

Benj. Janes, Joseph Petty, fence viewers for Great meadow. 

Peter Evens, Jona. Patterson, fence viewers for Pauchaug. 

Permanent Settlement, 147 

Joseph Alexander, Hezekiah Stratton, surveyors of highways. 

Benoni Moore, tythingman. 

Remembrance Wright, Joseph Alexander, field drivers. 

Capt. Benj. Wright, Benoni Moore, Peter Evens, Isaac Warner, 
a committee to provide necessaries for Mr. Doolittle ; to build a 
town pound ; and to take care of town affairs. 

Joseph Petty, Thomas Holton, Hez. Stratton, a committee to view 
Pauchaug plain, and lay out a highway through Pauchaug meadow. 
Isaac Warner, to take care of the boat. Capt. Wright, Eliezur 
Wright, Benoni Moore, Peter Evens, Zech. Field, a committee to 
manage in the affair about building a Meeting-house. 

Capt. Wright and Ens. Field, a committee to discourse with the 
honored Committee of the town about building the Meeting-house, 
and getting a petition drawn„to send to the General court for some 
relief to defray our charge. 

The Boat. — The town owned a boat or scow, and a canoe. The 
former was used to transport teams, etc., across the river to Bennett's 
meadow, and bring home so much of the crops as were needed for 
fall and early winter. The bulk of the hay was left in stack till it 
could be brought over on the ice. Corn was sometimes left in stook 
till winter. After the owners began to till their Moose-plain lots, and 
to mow the west side meadows above, the scow was moved from 
point to point as needed. Town ownership of the boat, and town 
management of the ferries, continued for many years. 

The Pound built this year, was placed in the North lane to the 
meadow, a short distance off the street. 

Meeting-house. — Capt. Wright and his committee urged matters ; 
and at a meeting of the Committee for Northfield, Mar. 18, It. was 
agreed to build a Meeting-house in s d Town, as soon as it can be 
conveniently done : and we advise that it be of the dimensions of 
Swampfield Meeting-house, i. e. 45 feet long, 30 feet wide, and 18 
feet between joints. 

The work was pushed forward, and the house appears to have been 
enclosed by the first of August. Probably the only " inside finish" 
then completed, was a rough board pulpit, and slab forms for seats. 
This Meeting-house stood in the middle of the street, a little south 
east of its successor. Sabbath meetings had previously been held at 
the house of such inhabitants as had the largest kitchen. 

Brick-making was commenced this spring, by Eliezur Wright or 
his son Azariah. The clay was dug in the street, below the south 

148 History of Northfield. 

meadow lane. When the Committee granted a home-lot here [where 
John Wright's house now stands] to William Sanderson, they w re- 
served the rights of the inhabitants to dig clay." 

Petition for Aid. — According to instructions given at the March 
meeting, a petition was drawn up, setting forth the slow progress of 
the plantation ; their good intentions, according to their ability to 
settle and maintain a minister among them ; but their inability by 
reason of the fewness of inhabitants, and their low circumstances ; 
and praying for a sum of money out of the public treasury for their 
assistance therein. June 27, 171 8, the General court granted the 
sum of forty pounds, to be improved by the Committee for North- 
Held, towards the support of the ministry in that place. 

Thus encouraged, as soon as the hurry of haying was over, they 
proceeded to give Mr. Doolittle a call to settle in the ministry. 

Terms of Settlement and Salary. — At a legal meeting of 
the inhabitants of Northfield, August 5, 1718, 

"The inhabitants, confidering the profpeft they have of Mr. Benjamin 
Doolittle's fettlement in the work of the Miniflry amongft them, have for his 
encouragement Vottd'. 

" 1. To give him a convenient houfe-lot, and the Meadow and Swamp land 
already referved for a Minifter which is about fifty acres : and alfo ten acres 
more in fome convenient place for a Pafture. 

" 2. To give him the Dwelling Houfe formerly belonging to Lieut. Thomas 
Taylor deceafed, (provided it can be purchafed at a reafonable price) and to 
finifh faid Houfe : But in cafe f d Houfe be not purchafed for him then in lieu 
thereof to give him Thirty pounds in money or Province Bills, and likewife to 
give him the Town Houfe to be adjoined to his dwelling«-houfe. 

" 3. To give to Mr. Doolittle one hundred pounds in money or Province 
Bills, to be paid in equal portions, one third in May 1719, one third in May 
1720, the other third in May 1721 — all the above gifts to be on condition of 
his fettlement in the work of the miniftry amongft them. 

" 4. To give Mr. Doolittle fixty five pounds in money or Public Bills of 
credit annually, for the firft fix years of his fervice next comirg after April 
fourteenth 1718, and feventy five pounds annually from that time forward 
during his continuance in the work of the miniftry in f d place. And in cafe 
the circumftances of his family (hall ftand in need of more, to enlarge it ac- 
cording to the capacity of the people. 

" 5. To provide for Mr. Doolittle fuch ftock of wood as the. ftate and cir- 
cumftances of his family (hall require, for fix years next coming, and after the 
expiration of the faid fix years, that each man with his team (hall cart or (led 
wood one day yearly for Mr. Doolittle." 

Permanent Settlement. 149 

The above terms were submitted to the Committee for concurrence, 
and at a meeting Aug. 12, 

" Having confidered the within votes of the inhabitants of N-field, we do 
confirm the P 1 votes, and do (for his further fecurity) hereby grant to the f 1 
Benj. Doolittle the within mentioned lands, and also ten acres of upland fuita- 
ble for Tillage in fome place convenient — all f lands are granted upon the within 
mentioned condition of fettlemcnt, and to be laid out by the furveyor. 


Sam 81 - Partridce "] p tee 
Sam bl Porter I ^ 
John Stoddard f N _ ^ 
Henry Dwicht J 

" Having confidered y e fore-mentioned propofals, I do hereby accept of 

• wimefs my hand Benj" . Doolittle." 

This is all the record, so far as known, respecting the settlement of 
Mr. Doolittle. It is believed that a church was organized, and Mr. 
D. ordained some time during the present fall ; probably on the id day 
in September. 

Oct. 8, 1718. The Committee for Northfield then agreed with 
Deacon Hawks, administrator, to exchange Lt. Taylor's house and 
lot in Northfield for a lot reserved for a minister ; and the Committee 
have agreed to give for the odds thirty pounds in money which we 
have put into Mr. Dwight's hands, and ten acres of out-lands which 
shall (if it may be) be to the acceptance of Dea. Hawks : the instru- 
ments to be drawn and perfected as soon as may conveniently be done. 

The ten acres of pasture land, voted to Mr. Doolittle by the in- 
habitants, was laid out on the west side of the street, just below Pau- 
chaug, which lot was known in the record as " Mr. Doolittle's Pas- 
ture" till the old Tavern house was built upon it. 

The ten acres of tillage land, voted by the Committee was laid out 
on the Second- Moose plain. 

In addition to the land now granted, Mr. Doolittle received sub- 
sequently, grants of 140 acres in the " Choice Lots" Division : 39 £ 
a. in the First Division of commons ; 55J a. in the Second, and400 a. 
in the Third Division. And his widow received 106 acres in the 
Fourth, 26^ a. in the Fifth, and 10 a. in the Sixth Division ; making 
in all 855 acres. 

Land Grants. — As a specimen of the way the lands at Northfield 
were disposed of by the Committee, the following examples are quoted : 
"1718, Feb. 19. Then granted to Benoni Moore and Jona. Patterfon each 

150 History of Northfield. 

ten acres on the plain on the back fide of Pachaug, provided there be (o much 
befides what is already granted : 

" Then granted to Jofiah Field thirty acres of land, whereof ten or twelve 
acres of Meadow (if to be found) ; the remainder to be a Home-lot and up- 
land — all to be laid out conveniently for him by direction of the Committee — 
all on condition of his abode there four years from the above date." 

All the home-lots were granted, subject to the condition of a four 
"years' residence. 

"Then granted to Jofeph Alexander about two acres on the Saw-mill brook, 
between two high hills running from .he Great meadow fence to the fall in the 
brook, upon condition that he allow the town liberty to dig a drain through 
his lower lot in the Great meadow — the town not to be at the charge of a 
highway to faid land. 

The general theory was, that the grant of a lot of land, be it ever 
so small, carried the right of a feasible highway to the same. 

The Town Street narrowed. — Aug. 12,1718. TheCommittee 
passed an order, that the three northerly lots towards the Mill brook 
on the east side of the street be extended westward so that the street 
be left but six rods wide ; and that the line be continued straight from 
the southwest corner of Orvis's home-lot to the southwest corner of 
the home-lot formerly belonging to Jacob Root. 

1719. March 2, "The inhabitants of the Town of Northfield being con- 
vened together at a legal meeting, have chofen their officers and other confarn- 
ments as follows : 

Jofeph Petty, conftable. 

Major John Stoddard, clerk. 

William Holton, Remem. Wright, fence viewers for y e Great Meadow 

Eleazar Mattoon, Jona. Belding, fence viewers for Pachaug 

Robert Cooper, Nath 1 Mattoon, hawards for y e Great Meadow and Ben- 
nett's Meadow 

Samuel Orvis, Azariah Wright, hawards for Pachaug 

Ens. Field, Thomas Holton, surveyors of highways 

Ifaac Warner, Peter Evens, tything-men 

Benjamin Janes, Thomas Hoiton, Elea r Mattoon, truftees for the town 
[" To lay what is necefsary for the town's affairs before the Committee for 
their approbation and confirmation" — interlined in the handwriting of Sam 1 

Capt. B. Wright, Eliezur Wright, Enfign Field, Benoni Moore, Jofeph Petty, 
chofen to agree with Mr. Doolittle concerning his fettlement in the miniftry. 

Hczckiah Stratton, Eleazar Holton, Nath 1 Mattoon, a committee to get Mr. 
Doolittle's wood : and voted to allow is. bd per loadJbr wood for Mr. D. this 
year coming. Signed, Eliezur Wright, Moderator." 

Permanent Settlement. 


It was customary for the moderator to make a record of the doings 
of the annual town meeting, attest the same, and carry it to the 
Committee for confirmation. The mode of making out the fore- 
going record, as well as some of the votes passed, indicate that the 
people were beginning to chafe under the Committee's rule. But 
the latter yielded nothing, and the interlineation was acquiesced in. 

The town furnished Mr. Doolittle this year sixty-two loads of 
wood, nominally one cord to a load, and paid for cutting and hauling 
the same £7 15. 

Blacksmith. — Mar. 10, 1719. "Granted to Ebenezer Field, of 
Deerfield, thirty acres of land, 8 acres reserved for a smith in Ben- 
nett's meadow, 7 acres in the Second-Moose plain, 10 acres on the 
Dry brook (in Dry swamp), and 5 acres in some convenient place, 
all on condition of his removing to N-field with his family within 15 
months, arid his employing himself in his trade for the supply of the 
people." — Mr. Field appears to have removed to this town the next 
year. He settled on the lot then held by the Patterson heirs (Jona. 
Patterson having died in 17 18), which he afterwards bought. This 
was afterwards known as the " Landlord Field place," now John 
Mattoon's. He put up a shop/Vz the street, after the custom of those 
times. He " finished his house" in the winter of 1721. He died 
(was shot by mistake) in 1723, and his shop was sold to Dea. Samuel 
Smith, who moved it down to near the " old Meeting oak." 

Garrison Soldiers. — By order of the General court, June 16, 
17 19, seven men were allowed in the public pay to garrison North- 
field, till the end of Oct. next. 

Mr. Stoddard's Farm. — " At a legal meeting of the inhabitants 
of Northfield, Nov. 14, 1719, Voted, To give to Maj. John Stod- 
dard all the Little Meadow that lies just below Great meadow, ex- 
cepting the old grants ; and so much of the Plain adjoined to it as 
will make up 100 acres, — Provided he will accept it for the service 
he hath already done as Committee-man and Clerk, and the service 
he hath to do for us while we shall be under the Committee's care." 

Maj. Stoddard sold 1 his farm in 1729 to Zechariah Field and 
Orlando Bridgman, for £550. Field soon bought out Bridgman, and 
the place has been known as the M Field farm " unto this day. It is 
now owned by Thomas J. Field. 

1720. Feb. 23, The Committee for Northfield granted the 
stream upon Bennett's brook to Serg'. Benoni Moore, Joseph Petty, 
Ebenezer Field and Nathaniel Mattoon, for a saw-rniU, with the 

152 History of Nortbfield. 

lands that may be necessary for ponding, and to lay logs upon, pro- 
vided they build it by May come twelve-month, and improve the 
mill from that time forward for their own benefit and profit and the 
service of the town. 

Land grants were made this year to Eleazar Holton ; to Eldad 
Wright ; to Thomas Blaksley, a relative of Mr. Doolittle ; and to 
Ebenezer Alexander, who became a deacon in the Church and a 
prominent leader in civil affairs. He bought the home-lot of his 
uncle, Nathaniel Alexander (the Parson Mason lot), and the Richard 
Lyman lot adjoining on the north. The former he sold to Jonathan 
Hunt ; and the latter to Samuel Hunt in 1732, and built in 1733 or 
'34 on the Capt. Richard Coltnn place. Moses Nash of Hadley 
also received grants of 15 acres in Second- Moose plain and in one of 
the upper meadows, and the next year bought the William Clarke 
home-lot, though it does not appear that he became an inhabitant of 

Mar. 2, 1720. At the annual Town Meeting the following offi- 
cers were chosen : — « 

Maj. John Stoddard, town clerk. 

Eleazar Mattoon, constable and collector. 

Joseph Petty, Jona. Belding, surveyors of highways. 

Dea. Benj. Janes, tything man. 

Eben r Alexander, Nath 1 Mattoon, fence viewers for Great Meadow. 

Thomas Hoiton, Azariah Wright, fence viewers for Pachaug. 

Robert Cooper, Dan 1 Wright, hawards for Great and Bennett's 

Nath 1 Mattoon, Eldad Wright, hawards for Pachaug. 

Lieut. Eliezur Wright, Thomas Holton, Theoph. Merriman to 
take care of Mr. Doolittle's wood. 

Lieut. E. Wright, Serg 1 B. Moore, Eben r Alexander trustees 
for the Town, and to take account of the town debts. 

Edmund Grandee, to take care of the boat and canoe. 

[The above officers were confirmed by the Committee April 5.] 

The two matters of considerable importance to be presented in the 
records of this year, are 1. The location of the " Country Farm," and 
the Committee's Farms ; 2. The resurvey of the town by Timothy 
Dwight Esq. 

Country Farm. — It will be remembered that in the original grant 
of the Squakheag plantation in 1672,8 "reserve of land for the 
country's use " was made. For obvious reasons this land had not 
been formally laid out, during the earlier Settlements. But the claim 
was still valid ; and as all the better class of lands were being absorbed 

Permanent Settlement. 153 

by grants to settlers, there was now a necessity that this tract should 
be selected and bounded out. At a meeting of the Committee, April 
20, " It was ordered, that there be a Reserve of two hundred and 
fifty acres of land, at the southerly end of N-field bounds, bounded 
on the Town Line southerly, on the Common Road to Sunderland 
westerly, on the Common land northwardly, and on Country land 

Committee's Farms. — At the same meeting the Committee voted 
to set apart farms of one hundred and fifty acres each, to themselves. 
This action was in accordance with the expressed wish of the town ; 
and the land was no more than a fair compensation for their services. 

" Agreeably to the vote of the inhabitants of N-field on April 1 1, 1720, the 
Committee have this day [April 20] granted to Samuel Porter Efq. I 50 acres 
of land within the Townfhip of N-field, bounded fouthwardly on a Referve of 
250 acres lying next the South line of the f 1 Townlhip, weftwardly on the 
Common road that leads towards Sunderland, northwardly on land of Henry 
Dwight Efq. and eaftwardly on Common land — extending in length from the 
Road eaftwardly three quarters of a mile, and in breadth from North to South 
one hundred rods, it being in conlideration of fcrvice in fettling P 1 place." 

A farm of similar dimensions, and corresponding boundaries, lying 
directly north of this, was granted and laid out to Henry Dwight Esq. 

And a farm precisely equal, lying north of Dwight's, was granted 
and laid out to Samuel Partridge Esq. 

The total amount thus granted and laid out in a body, was 700 
acres. And this was the origin of what was known to after genera- 
tions as " The Farms." 

[As the " Common Road to Sunderland" was not yet a public 
highway, and was a somewhat uncertain boundary line, the town voted 
subsequently, " that the westerly end of the Committee's Farms be 
extended four or five rods across the Path, to the brow of a little hill 
that runs North and South ; and that as much be taken out of their 
Farms at the easterly end."] 

As stated at the close of last year's record, a Farm of 100 acres 
had already been granted and laid out to Major Stoddard — the 100 
acres being in a better location, was considered as equivalent to 150 
acres further south. The other member of the Committee, Col. 
John Pynchon, had been at no considerable pains in furthering the 
settlement, and received no grant. 

New Plot of the Town. — The town bounds, as originally laid 
out by William Clarke in 1672, have already been described in Chap- 

1 54 History of Northfield. 

ter III. In May 1685, on Petition of the Committee, the bounds 
on the east side of the river were extended "two and a half miles 
lower to a little stoney brook." But no survey and location of this 
additional grant was made at the time. 

As the inhabitants were now rapidly increasing, and these lands 
were being lotted out, the bounds became a matter of consequence ; 
and the Committee ordered Timothy Dwight Esq. to survey and 
plot this tract, and readjust the other lines. Beginning at the old 
south-east corner [which was nearly due east 3I miles from the 
lower end of the Three Little Meadows] he run the line "parallel to 
the general course of the river," till it met a line running E. 7 30' 
N. from the mouth of Four-mile brook. That south line (except che 
deflection to include the " Morgan farm ") has remained substantially 
unaltered till this day. 

On the west side of the river, the line was extended south from 
the old south-west corner 145 rods to the Deerfleld line, where it re- 
mained till the adjustment of the boundary lines between Northfield 
and Gill. 

The east and west bounds, which run N. i° 3o' W. were not 

The north bound, which had been a broken one, i. e., at Broad 
brook on the west side and at Ash-swamp brook on the east side of 
the river, was brought down to a point about \ of a mile below Ash- 
swamp brook and coincident with the dividing line between the 
Sartwell and Bridgman farms, and thus made continuous the entire 
width of the town. This north line began at a point three-fourths 
of a mile west of the river and run E. 7 . 30' N. 1440 rods. The 
length of the town on the east side, was 100 rods less than 12 miles ; 
the length on the west side, was 8 miles ; the superficial contents was 
31296 acres. 

By the terms of the original grant in 1672, the town was 8 miles 
long by 4^ wide, i. e., equal to six miles square. When the addi- 
tional grant of 2 J miles was made to the south end on the east side 
of the river in 1685, nothing was said in the act about taking off an 
equivalent portion from the north end — although this might be sup- 
posed to be the intention of the General court. Dwight's survey, 
now under consideration, assumed that the omitted north-west cor- 
ner should constitute this equivalent, as the space left off south of 
Ash-swamp brook was an equivalent for the small south-west corner 
addition. The town, as thus resurveyed, actually contained 8256 
acres more than the authorized six miles square. This survey was 
not at once accepted by the General court. Although the legisla- 

Permanent Settlement. 155 

ture appears to have been sensible of the dilemma caused by its own 
carelessness ; yet it was not ready to take a decisive step towards a 
settlement of the question. And the disputed boundary was a source 
of anxiety and some controversy for many years. In 1732, the legis- 
lature granted to Gov. Jonathan Belcher 500 acres of land lying 
north of the old Fort Hill above the Ashuelot river. This included the 
whole of Merry's meadow and the plain lands east, which had been 
in part allotted to the settlers, and which Northfield had held by pur- 
chase and possession for half a century. This encroachment by the 
legislature — as it was regarded, brought matters to a crisis. The 
town resolved to have the question settled ; and voted to give a large 
and valuable tract of land as compensation to any man who would 
get the boundaries fixed. Stephen Belding went to Boston, and 
labored with the governor and' legislature ; but failed of his object, 
and paid his own expenses. Then Capt. Benj". Wright — who was 
still at 73 years old a power in the town — was sent down as agent ; 
and by his influence with the leading men in the government, secured 
to the town her claimed rights, and was paid for his expenses and 
time. At the session June 21, 1733, an act was* passed, confirming 
and establishing the survey and plot of the town as made by Mr. 

The north bound remained unaltered till the new Province line 
was run by order of the king in 1740. This cut off 4 miles and 
197 rods in width from the north part of the township, which sub- 
sequently became parts of Vernon, Vt., Hinsdale and Winchester, 
N. H. 

Assessor's Return, 1720 — Number of Polls taxed 38 

Non-residents and females taxed 18 

Number acres of home-lots and meadow lands taxed 1863 

" " outlands taxed 298 
Tax on poll, 12 shillings. 

Land Speculation. — About this date, when it became well as- 
sured that Northfield was to stand, men who had ready cash began 
to invest it in lands in and around the plantation. As will' appear in 
the Plan and History of the Home-lots, to be given hereafter, Henry 
Dwight of Hatfield, Lieut. Jona. Hunt of Northampton, and 
others, were always ready to advance money and take a mortgage on 
said lots, and to buy up grants as they came into market. But this 
year, Ens. Zechariah Field made a wholesale purchase — it being no 
less than the balance of all the desirable lands still claimed by the 
original Indian proprietors. His own petition best tells the story. 

I <j6 History of Northfield. 

" To His Excellency Jona. Belcher ; 

" Ic being reprefentcd to me that it would be for the intereftof this Govern- 
ment to purchafe the right of Pompanoot, fon and heir to Wawelet, one of the 
chiefs among the Indians, of and in a large trad of land lying upon Miller's 
river fo called, at a place called Paquayag (Athol) of the contents of about 
30,000 acres, bounded upon large falls in faid river eafterly, extending feven 
miles down the river, running four miles foutherly from y e P river and two 
miles northerly : And your memorialift, being intimately acquainted with the 
faid Pompanoot, and confidering that if the land mould not be bought of him 
before the Englifh began to make fome fettlement and build upon the f 1 land, 
he would afterwards demand a much higher price than if bought before fuch 
improvement — your memorialifl for the good of the country bought the f 1 
land of the f 1 Indian, in the year 1720, for an inconfiderable fum, viz., twelve 
pounds, which is now of great worth : And the f d land by the authority of 
the Great and General Court has been lately granted for a Townfhip to the 
Englifh inhabitants — though your petitioner has it under the hand of a great 
number of Indians that the f 1 land was the right of the faid Pompanoot, by 
virtue of a gift from his honored father Wawelet, yet is entirely fatiflied that 
this grant of the Court fhould take place, provided he be rccompenfed for the 
£ 1 2 advanced, with intereft, or receive a part of faid land. 

Northfield April 1733. Zechariah Field. 

The court granted him in satisfaction of his just claim 800 acres, 
to be laid out in two tracts, adjoining to Paquayag, one of which was 
on territory, afterwards incorporated into the town of New Salem. 

Dec. 13, 1720. The General court voted, That 10 soldiers be 
posted at Northfield in full pay, and continued there till the last day 
of November next ; none of the town's people to serve. 

1 721. April 4, The Committee granted to Stephen Crowfoot, 
a home-lot of 7^ acres which formerly belonged to Palmer, and 10 
acres in the Second-moose plain, and ten acres in the South plain. 
Also granted to William Syms a home-lot of 7^ acres north of 
Joseph Warriner's lot, and 10 acres on the Second-moose plain^ and 
10 acres on the South plain, if to be found when former grants are 
satisfied : all on condition that he continue an inhabitant there four 
years from this time, and fence and improve his home-lot within two 
years from this time. 

Ebenezer Severance and Thomas Bardwell also received grants of 
land, in the Second-moose plain. 

At the same meeting of the Committee it was ordered, That Ensign 
Field, Joseph Petty and Hezekiah Stratton be a committee to lease 
out the town lot in the Great meadow for five years ; and that they 
have power to lease out any of the land formerly belonging to any 

Permanent Settlement. 157 

person out of this county, who has not paid his rates to any former 
constable, the lands to be let till the rates are paid. 

1722. By virtue of a warrant from the Hon w Committee, the in- 
habitants being warned, convened together at a legal town meeting, 
Mar. 2, and chose officers as follows : 

Col. John Stoddard, town clerk. 

William Holton, constable. 

Remembrance Wright, Ebenezer Field, Eleazar Holton, trustees. 

Ebenezer Alexander, Hezekiah Stratton, surveyors. 

Thomas Holton, Nath 1 Mattoon, fence viewers for.Pachaug. 

Dan 1 Wright, Azariah Wright, fence viewers for Great Meadow. 

Stephen Crowfoot, Eliezur Wright, fence viewers for Bennett's 

Benoni Moore, tythingman.' 

Thomas Blaksley, Eldad Wright, field drivers for all y e meadows. 

A company of garrison soldiers was stationed in town from Dec. 
1, 1 72 1 to July 24, of this year. These were paid by the government, 
and billeted upon the inhabitants — usually two to a family, — who 
were allowed 5 shillings each per week, which sum was in part de- 
ducted from the country rate, and the balance paid in Province bills. 
The company roll is as follows : 

Joseph Kellogg Lieut., SufF. James Porter, Nhn. 

Josiah Stebbins Sergt., Nhn. Joseph Billing, Hat. 

Josiah King clerk, Nhn. Stephen Smith, Hat. 

Joseph Allis, Hat. Benoni Wright, Nhn. 

Japhet Chapin, Spg. Orlando Bridgman, Nhn. 

John Sergeant, Wore. 

The pay of the lieutenant was 20 shillings per week : the others 
received 5 shillings per week. 

In addition to the above, two men were allowed, as a special guard 
to the minister, one for night watching and one for day warding. 
These of course were billeted on his family. 

Forts. — Up to this year, no forts had been built in the village. 
One or two houses were brick-lined : and the Town-house, i. e., the 
12X16 ft. building put up for Mr. Whitmore in 1716, was used as 
a guard-room. But the garrison soldiers, when not on duty, lived 
with the inhabitants. 

The war, which had impended for more than a year, and which 
broke out on the Eastern frontiers in June, naturally alarmed our 
people, and immediate measures were taken to prepare for the worst. 
In the course of the summer two forts were begun and wholly or 
partially completed. One stood on the Zech. Field home-lot ; the 

158 History of Nortbfield. 

other on the Stephen Belding lot (the site of the old Clary fort). 
These were not strongly built works. Probably the mounts were 
only partially finished. It is a family tradition that the Field fort 
was surrounded by a stockade ; and that, in the following year, the 
sentry stationed in the mount, shot Ebenezer Field, the smith, in the 
dusk of the evening, mistaking him for an Indian. x 

Militia. — All towns were required by law to enroll their militia 
men, including all able bodied males between 16 and 60 years of age, 
and to maintain a military organization. Besides the regular training 
days, all were liable to be called on to watch and ward and scout. 
Where the number liable to do duty was less than 64, the company 
was commanded by a lieutenant or ensign. 

Northfield was fortunate in having among her settlers several men 
experienced in military matters and in Indian warfare. Capt. 
Benjamin Wright was an old fighter. Ebenezer Alexander was an 
officer, and Robert Cooper was a soldier in Queen Anne's war. 
Others had seen service. Capt. Wright was the head of our militia 
company, for the three years after 17 14. Thomas Taylor was ser- 
geant under him, and was chosen lieutenant (which gave him the 
command of our small company) in 1717 — the spring before he was 
drowned. Zechariah Field was chosen ensign the same year, on the 
death of Lt. Taylor, and succeeded him in command. Eliezur 
Wright was lieutenant and Benoni Moore sergeant in 17 19. The 
present year [1722], Ebenezer Alexander and Joseph Petty were 
chosen sergeants. 

But these military matters belong more properly to the next chapter. 

1723. At a meeting of the Committee Feb. 26, " they then granted 
to Mr. Benj n Doolittle 24 feet in breadth of the street directly against 
the house he now lives in, and 32 feet in length, to set a house on, 
he to have s d land during the continuance of the house he shall there 


How far Mr. Doolittle availed himself of the privilege hereby 
granted, is not known : but it is remembered that the old Caleb Lyman 
house stood several feet over the line of the street. 

March 4. At a legal town meeting, this date, officers were chosen 
as follows : Col. John Stoddard town clerk ; Hezekiah Stratton con- 
stable ; Sergt. Joseph Petty, Sergt. Eben r . Alexander, Jona. Belding, 

■In the duilc of evening, Ebenezer Field was scanding on his shed pitching Peas, which 
were passed up to him from the cart below and out of sight, into the barn window. The 
sentry caught a glimpse of the wads as they were rapidly tossed into the window, and think- 
ing that Indians were leaping stealthily into the barn for mischief, instantly fired, mortally 
wounding Mr. Field. — Dca. Phinehat Field. 

Permanent Settlement. 159 

trustees ; Dea. Benj. Janes tythingman ; Dea. Eleazar Mattoon, 
Thomas Holton, surveyors ; Serg'. Benoni Moore, Nath 1 Mattoon, 
fence viewers for Great meadow : Stephen Crowfoot, Theophilus 
Merriman, do. for Pachaug ; Eben r . Severance, Ebenezer Field, do. 
for Bennett's meadow : Dan 1 . Wright, Eldad Wright, field drivers. 

The usual endorsement " Allowed by the Committee," is affixed 
to the record for the last time, as by act of the General court, their 
power ceased in the ensuing June. 

At the meeting, as above, the town voted to Ebenezer Severance 
a lot of 10 acres " upon Bennett's hill," to be joined to the lot of 10 
acres previously granted to him : and another M little piece of land of 
about 60 rods," " upon the condition of his building a house on his 
land in Bennett's meadow." If he complied with the condition, his 
was the first house erected oivthe west side of the river in Northfield. 

Industries. — Mills. A grist-mill was erected by Stephen Belding, 
as early as 171 7, and a saw-mill, the next year, by his brother Jona- 
than Belding, as already related. A saw-mill may have been built 
on Bennett's brook, in 1721. 

Brickmaking. The manufacture of bricks was commenced as early 
as 1 71 7. The clay was found in the highway below the old Meet- 
ing oak. When the home-lot (where John Wright now lives) was 
granted to William Sanderson in 1718, a clause was inserted, "re- 
serving to the inhabitants the right to dig clay." 

Ebenezer Field the smith, and Stephen Crowfoot the carpenter, 
came to Northfield in 1720. It is not easy to see how the people 
could get along in the previous years without a blacksmith, as all 
their tools in daily use, such as axes, shaves, nails, hoes, plow-shares, 
loom-irons, cranes and trammels, and hog-rings were wrought-work. 
Very likely they went thirteen miles to Deerfleld, and there discov- 
ered the excellent workmanship of Mr. Field, and so invited his re- 
moval to Northfield. They could better dispense with a skilled car- 
penter, as almost every body could hew timber, and use the adze and 
auger and chisel, and nail on boards and shingles. In those days, no 
frames were set out by the square rule, but by what they called the 
try rule, or the rule of six, eight and ten ; i. e. the sills, posts and 
beams were framed and tried, and the braces were laid on to mark 
their bevels and length. The covering for ordinary buildings was 
cleft boards, laid lapping : for the better class of dwelling houses, 
rough sawed boards chamfered together. 

Some entries, both Dr. and Cr. taken from the blacksmith's Ac- 
count Book, for the years 172 1-2, will give an idea of the prices, 


1 60 History of Northfield. 

and the work-day aspect of things in the little frontier village, and 

are worth preserving. 


By fetching a load of coal from Dry brook £050 

•'* a bulhel of malt 036 

" harrowing my flax ground o I o 

" making hay one day 026 

" working at my tar-kiln one day 026 

" team to draw tar to Deerfield, 2 days 080 

" team getting candle wood i day • 020 

" horfe to drag my home lot one day o 1 o 

" a quarter of veni Ton lolbs 032 

" reapii g at Moofe plain 1 day 030 

" Jany., fledding hay from Bennett's meadow 050 

" breaking flax one day 020 

" 6 buihels Indian corn o 12 o 

a boy to pull flax one day o 1 6 

3 bufhcls of turnips. 046 

making 7J bum. barley 030 

I buihel of wheat 056 

" horfe to go huckle-berrying 006 

" a bottle of rhum »o 2 o 

" March, 1721, Step. Crowfoot, work finifhing my houfe.. 026 


To fhocing a hone round 036 

" (harpening pr. of plow-irons o 1 o 

my oxen to work one day o 1 o 

making 4 hog rings 004. 

making a trammel 070 

" a clevis and pin 058 

" 36 hatchel teeth 030 

(harpening a plow-lhare 008 

a coulter 004 

" laying an axe 030 

" making a lteel trap o 16 o 

*' " a hoe 046 

" one fett of loom -irons and fpindle o 10 o 

" 7 pigs at 7 weeks old 15 o 

" 4 lbs. of hops ^ 040 

" a wapanock skin 038 

" 3 fox (kins and 2 a woolang (kin o 13 6 

" my wife's making an Indian's (hirt 008 

" I quart of honey 020 

" making a gun lock and two fcrew pins for y e Indians 026 

Tar. It was quite common at this date, to collect the heart and 
knots of the old pines that were killed by the Indian's fires and had 
fallen down since the annual burning ceased, and to cut the older 
standing trees which had grown since the Indian occupation, and 
burn them in pits or kilns for the tar. Some of these old stumps 
were very fat. The business was commonly regulated by the town. 




Permanent Settlement. 16 1 

Candle wood. Every family would gather in the fall enough candle 
wood for use in the winter evenings. This was the hard pine — 
sometimes stunted or diseased trees, or old knots, which were full of 
pitch, and a splinter would give a tolerable light. Indeed it was all 
the light, except the blaze from the hearth, which most of the fami- 
lies had. Tallow candles were used to some extent, when one was 
so fortunate as to kill a fat beef. Oil was unknown. 

Rye. The Moose plain lots were famous in early times for raising 
rye. Both plains contained 300 acres. The First was divided into 
18 lots varying from 3} to 15.J acres each; the Second was divided 
into 22 lots, mostly 5 and 10 acres each. There were 29 different 
proprietors, some having a lot in both plains. Joseph Alexander and 
Hezekiah Elmer were the famous reapers of that day, and always had 
3 shillings per day, 6 pence more than for haying. 

Wheat was raised on the intervals nearer home, and on new ground. 
Flax required a moist soil. 

Loom irons. Every considerable family had all the conveniences 
necessary for making all the cloth required for home use. The flax 
and the wool were grown upon the farm. The former was pulled, 
cured, broken, swingled and hatcheled by the males, and spun on the 
" little wheel " by the females. The wool was sheared, washed, greased 
(goose oil was the best for this purpose), carded, and spun on the "great 
wheel." Tow, which was the refuse combings of flax, was spun on 
the great wheel. The yarn was now ready for the dye-pot, which 
was kept in the chimney corner through the cool season. The com- 
mon dyes were logwood and indigo ; later, madder came into use for 
lamb's wool and linsey woolsey. An ordinary day's work was four 
skeins of woolen yarn, when the spinner carded her own wool ; after 
the introduction of carding machines, she could as easily spin 6 
skeins. Two skeins of linen thread was a large day's work. Spin- 
ning was commonly done by the run. A run of yarn consisted of 
twenty knots, a knot was composed of forty threads, and a thread 
was seventy-four inches in length, or once round the reel. Seven 
knots of woolen, and fourteen knots of linen yarn made a skein. The 
loom was commonly set up in the unfinished loft over the kitchen. 
u Mother" did the weaving, till the girls began to think about getting 
married, when they in turn learned what was considered a necessary 
accomplishment. Some men were expert weavers, and made it u 
sort of winter's work. William Holton and Josiah Stebbins were 
the noted weavers of this date in Northtield. They charged 6 pence 
per yard for weaving common yard wide linen cloth. 

1 6 2 History of Northjield. 

Hog rings. Swine were allowed to run at large from April I, to 
the last of October. To prevent mischief to gardens and fields, the 
law required that all swine going at large should be " properly yoked 
and rung." And it was enacted, " That no yoke shall be accounted 
• sufficient which is not the full depth of the swine's neck above the 
neck, and half so much below the neck ; and the sole or bottom of 
the yoke to be three times so long as the breadth or thickness of the 
swine's neck." 

Wapanock or wogernock, was the Indian name for the sable or 
marten, valuable for its furs. JVoolang or woolaneaque, was the 
name for the fisher, which is the largest of the mink family, some- 
times two feet in length. 

Shoemaker. There is no record of a professional shoemaker in 
town till 1725. It is likely that more than one of the inhabitants 
had a lapstone and awl and hammer, and could cobble, on emergency. 
Probably too, some one or more of the garrison soldiers stationed 
here, may have had the trade, and would do the work for the family 
where they were billeted. It is known that Josiah King, cordwainer, 
was stationed here as a soldier, and that in 1725 he received a grant 
of a home-lot, and removed hither and set up his trade. 

There were some restrictions imposed by law on this and the 
kindred art of fanning, which deserve mention. 

"No perfon uilng or occupying the feat or myftery of a fhoemaker (hall ufe 
or exercife the feat or myftery of a tanner, on forfeiture of 6 (hillings and 8 
pence for every hide or (kin by him fo tanned : nor (hall any tanner ufe or 
occupy the feat or myftery of either butcher, currier or (hoemaker, upon like 
forfeiture. And no perfon exercifing the myftery or faculty of a (hoemaker or 
cordwainer (hall work up into (hoes or boots any leather that is not thoroughly 
and fufficicntly tanned, well dried and properly fealed ; nor ufe any horfe-hide 
for the inner folcs of boots and (hoes, upon forfeiture of faid boots or (hoes." 

Maltster. Lieut. Jonathan Hunt had a malt house in Northfield 
in 1 721-3. The best malt was made of barley ; meslin, and the 
poorer grade of wheat mixed with chess were also used. From 7 to 
10 bushels was the ordinary supply for a family for a year. Beer 
made of malt and hops was a common drink at this date, and con- 
tinued so for several generations. Cider, in small quantities began 
to be made here as early as 1723; and as the apple orchards came 
more into bearing, this took the place of malt liquors. A weak beer 
was the foundation ot Jiip, which was the winter tipple of the tavern 
loungers till within the last 50 years. 

Education. No school was established in Northfield, during the 
period under review. The wife of Ebenezer Field, rne smith, was 

Permanent Settlement. 163 

the first teacher in town of whom a record exists. In 1721, she 
taught a class of voung children at her own house, for 22 weeks of 
the warm season, and charged 4 pence each per week. She edu- 
cated her own children well ; her oldest daughter Joanna (who m. 
Col. Phinehas Wright) was the noted school-ma'am of the next 
generation. Mrs. Field (Elizabeth Arms of Deerfield) was a woman 
of great energy and versatility. We get but two glimpses of her life ; 
the first, when she is keeping school ; making shirts for the Indians 
at 8 pence each ; making breeches for Ensign Field, her husband's 
brother at 1 shilling 6 pence per pair ; besides managing her house- 
hold, with four young children. We next see her ten years later, as 
Mrs. Azariah Wright, with 8 children, the youngest but a year old, 
and leisure to work at tailoring as formerly : leisure to spin and weave 
tow cloth to be exchanged* with the traders for crockery and a few 
luxuries : to spin and weave a web of 26 yards of linen sheeting for 
Samuel Smith, for which she receives 24 shillings. Taking these as 
samples of other years, her life was a useful, productive and benefi- 
cent one. Both her husbands were " known in the gates, when 
they sat among the elders of the land." \_Prov. 31 : 23.] She had in 
all fourteen children, the youngest twins. 

Physician. Rev. Mr. Doolittle combined the two professions of 
theology and medicine. He was a regularly educated physician and 
surgeon, and was furnished with books and instruments, and kept a 
supply of drugs. His own townsmen, and the inhabitants of the new 
settlements as they were made, above Northfield, and the garrisons 
at Fort Dummer, and the Ashuelots, and No. 4, depended on his 
services ; and in the battles and skirmishes of the old French war, 
the wounded were brought to him for treatment. In his prime, his 
medical practice became so large and lucrative as to awaken some 
jealousy among his tax-paying parishioners, as will appear in a subse- 
quent chapter. 

Up to near this date, physicians were scarce in old Hampshire 
county. In 1665, George Filer was allowed by the court to prac- 
tice u as a chirurgeon" in Northampton. But he remained only a short 
time; and there was no surgeon in that town till 1730. Dr. John 
Westcar settled in Hadley in 1666 ; and for ten years eked out a 
scanty support by selling aqua-vita to the Indians and others. After 
his death, Hadley had no physician for 52 years. Dr. Thomas 
Hastings was in Hatfield at the time of King Philip's war ; but de- 
rived his main support from teaching. Deerfield had no educated 
physician till Dr. Thomas Williams set up there about 1740. 

Most of the medical practice in those early days, and especially the 

164 History of Nortbfield. 

midwifery, were in the hands of females. As already stated, the 
wife of William Miller was the only physician in Northfield during 
the first two Settlements. She also on occasion, acted as surgeon, 
and was regarded as skillful. Rhoda Wright, daughter of Benjamin 
Jr., had a good reputation as doctor, and after her marriage to Asa 
Childs was the practicing physician of Deerfield for many years. 

These practitioners (and the mothers) depended mainly on simples 
and specifics. Certain stimulating and cathartic roots and herbs, 
which had prompt action, together with poultices and plasters com- 
posed their materia medica ; and with the good constitutions of the 
men and women of that day, were effectual in common ailments. 
Fevers and other miasmatic diseases, when epidemic, were usually 
very fatal. 

A few years later, Ebenezer Field, the eldest son of the smith, 
became a somewhat noted medicine man in Northfleld, and is named 
in the town records as " Dr. Field." He had great faith in the oil 
and galls of the rattlesnake, and was wont to go late in autumn before 
they denned for the winter, and early in spring before they scattered 
for the summer, to hunt these reptiles on Brush mountain. The oil 
was applied outwardly, and was considered a sovereign remedy for 
rheumatism. The gall was a specific for fever. It was mixed with 
powdered chalk, and made into pills. These pills were an article of 
regular traffic ; were kept on sale by dealers in drugs, and were often 
prescribed by physicians. 

Slave. " Ceasar" the slave boy of Ensign Field is named in the 
records of 1722. 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 165 

Plan of the Home Lots in the Third Settlement. 

During the First and Second Settlements, the main street of the 
village constituted the town. The same is true of the first 25 years 
of the Third Settlement ; and substantially true of the succeeding 25 

years, as very few of the inhabitants built and resided on their out farms, 
till after the close of the last French war. The history of the village 
home-lots has therefore a peculiar significance. For a long period, all 
events of public interest centred around them. The town's men and 
the town life were here ; the schools were here ; the mills were here ; 
the forts were here ; the headquarters of every movement was here. 
And not only the location of the street, but the lines of many of the lots 
remain unchanged to the present time. And the history and the fate 
of many families are intimately associated with the spot where their 
ancestor planted his home. 

Such considerations seemed to require and to justify the expendi- 
ture of time sufficient to determine the exact location of the old family 
sites, and to trace the various transfers of property down to the pre- 
sent owners. From the fact that some families uniformly neglected 
to have their deeds recorded, the list of owners is not complete -, and 
in some instances of short, or non-resident ownership, the names are 
omitted. And doubtless, in some few cases, deeds of transfer have 
been overlooked in our searches in the Registry offices ; and thus 
blanks have been left, which more diligence would have supplied. 

In the Plan, on the following page, the name of the first perma- 
nent resident owner after 17 14, is affixed to the several lots ; while 
in the description which follows, the name of the original grantee is 
affixed — thus connecting the historical memoranda of the Three 

The lots on the west side of the street all run to the brow of the 
meadow hill, unless otherwise specified ; and were nominally 60 rods 
in length. Beginning, for the sake of convenience, at the lower end 
of the street, lot No. 1, of ten acres, bounded south on the falls of 
Miller's brook, was, in 17 14, Common land. In 1 7 1 8 it was granted 
by the town to Josiah Field, brother of Ens. Zechariah. He occu- 
pied it long enough to gain possession, and Mar. 14, 1726, then of 
Springfield, sells to Benoni Wright. Nov. 1728, Wright sells to 

Jo*. Alexander Jr. 
Win. Syms 
Aaron Burt 

Joseph Burt 
Hezetciah Elmer 



Abra'm Elgar 
Steph. Crowfoot 

Stephen Belding 

Benj. Wright Jr.*' 

Thomas Holton 
Peter Evens 
Azariah Wright 
Jona. Hunt 
Jos. Alexander 


Ens. Zach. Field Stratton 
Rev. Benj. Doolittle 
Ebenr. Field 
Peter Evens 
Isaac Warner 
Robert Cooper 
Nath'l Mattooo 
Ens. Zach. Field 
Joseph Petty 
Benj. Janes 
Jona. Janes 

• •••*••• ••«•«• •••*••• i 

Benoni Crafts 

Sam'l Orris 

Theo. Merriman 
Jona. Bdding 
Tho*. Taylor's heirs 


Eben'r Alexander 

Eben'r Alexander 

50 Jos. Stebbins 

H " 

Benj. Wright 

3 ' 


Benj. Wright 
Wm. Holton 
Benoni Moore 
Eliezur Wright 


Nehe'r Wright 









Jona. Patterson 
Josiah Field 












Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 167 

Ens. Zechariah Field. In 1795 it was held by Samuel Field, and 
was then united to the lot next north. 

No. 2. The John Holmes lot: j\ a. 27 r. wide. April 1714, 
this lot was held by Joseph Severance of Deerfleld, who did not settle 
upon it. Mar. 1, 1718, J. S. and wife Anna sell to Jonathan Pat- 
terson of Northfleld. Patterson died that year, and the widow built 
and lived here. In 1760 Col. Eleazar Patterson sells to Samuel Field. 
It was then owned successively by Franklin Lord, John G. Mudge 
from Winchester, N. H., who built the house now standing ; and 
Daniel Callender ; Joseph B. Callender now owns from the meadow 
road to the falls. 

No. 3. The Ralph Hutchinson lot: 27 r. wide. In April 17 14, 
this was held by the Hutchinson heirs. May 9, 1716, John Hutchin- 
son and Samuel Hutchinson of Lebanon, Ct., and Judah Hutchinson 
of Northampton, sell the lot and 40 a. of interval land, to Joseph 
Petty of Coventry, Ct. Aug. 25, 17 18, Petty sells the lot, by 
exchange for the Samuel Janes lot, to Jonathan Janes of Northfleld, 
who lived and died here ; and it has been held by his descendants till 
the present time. The lot, as originally laid out, was 27 rods wide ; 
but only 20 r. in width was occupied by Mr. Janes, the balance 
lying common. May 16, 1797, on petition of Dea. Ebenezer Janes, 
the town released him from the obligation to maintain the highway 
through the south lane to Warwick, he giving to the town a quit- 
claim deed of the strip of 3 r. wide of said lane, which had been 
granted to his father. And in lieu of this 1 a. and 20 r., the town 
granted a strip 7 r. wide in front and 10 r. in rear, on the south side 
of his home-lot, thus restoring said home-lot to its original dimensions. 

The house now standing was built by Dea. Ebenezer Janes, and 
is a good specimen of the first-class dwellings put up at the close of 
the last French war. Near the south side of the lot as occupied by 
Jonathan Janes, is the house of Mark Woodard and son ; and A. D. 
Elmer now owns and occupies the 7 rods addition. 

No. 4. The Elder William Janes lot : 7^ a. 20 r. wide. April 
1714, the lot was held by the Janes heirs. In the spring of 17 16, 
Dea. Benjamin Janes took possession, and lived here till Sept. 28, 
1725, when he sold out to Isaac Mattoon of Deerfleld, and removed 
to Lebanon, Ct., where he was living June 9, 1 73 1 . Dr. Samuel 
Mattoon, son of Isaac, rebuilt the old house in 1760; the same is 
now standing, and is owned by E. Mattoon's heirs. 

Isaac Mattoon was an " engager " in John Lyman's right, in 17 14, 
but was prevented by some cause, now unknown, from coming to 

1 68 History of Nortbjield. 

inhabit; and the town, Feb. 17, 1731, passed the following vote: — 
" crranted to Isaac Mattoon 6 a. of land in Northfield, in considera- 
tion of his difficulty in coming first to settle here, and this grant to 
take place when y e prior grants are laid out." 

No. 5. The Samuel Janes lot: -j\ a. 20 r. wide. April, 17 14, 
this was held by Samuel Janes's heirs. Aug. 25, 171 8, Jonathan 
Janes sells, by exchange for the Ralph Hutchinson lot, to Joseph 
Petty, who resided here till his death, when the lot was sold to Joshua 
Lyman the blacksmith, who spent the rest of his days here. Feb. 

12, 1788, Col James Lyman, son of Joshua, sells the lot to Isaac 
and Samuel Jr. Mattoon. It is now owned by Oliver S. Mattoon. 

No. 6. The Robert Lyman lot: 7^ a. 20 r. wide. Mar. 12, 
1711, Henry Cook sometime of Wallingford, now of Branford, Ct., 
sells John Mattoon of Wallingford one-half of all the lands in North- 
field, formerly owned by Robert Lyman, his father-in-law ; and Oct. 

13, 1712, J. M. sells the same to his brother Isaac Mattoon of 
Deerfield, who sells, before 17 14, to Ens. Zechariah Field of Deer- 
field. Nov. 12, 1728, Martha Cook, spinster, of Durham, Ct., sells to 
Nathaniel Mattoon of Northfield, the other " one-half of the lands 
belonging to my grandfather Robert Lyman, which descended to me 
by my mother Experience Cook, daughter of s a Robert," and N. M. 
sells the same to Ens. Zechariah Field. 

This lot was the site of a series of noted forts, both in earlier and 
later times. It was held in the Field family for four generations. 
Timothy Field sold it to George A. Stearns, who divided it, selling 
the south half to Dr. Elijah Stratton, who now owns it ; and the 
north half to Joseph S. Beach, now owned by E. M. Alexander. 

No. 7 The John Lyman lot: j\ a. 20 r. wide. Mar. 12, 1711, 
Henry Cook (as above) sells half this lot, and all the land in North- 
field once owned by John Lyman and Samuel Lyman, which came 
to him through his wife Experience, to John Mattoon of Walling- 
ford, Ct., who sells the same Oct. 13, 1712, to his brother Isaac of 
Deerfield, who sells in 17 16 to his brother Nathaniel of Northfield. 
Nov. 12, 1728, Martha Cook (as above) sells the remaining half to 
Nathaniel Mattoon, who had already built upon the lot. It was held 
by his son Elijah ; was sold to Mark and Samuel Woodard ; and is 
now owned by A. R. Lyman. 

No. 8. The Cornelius Merry lot : 7^ a. 20 r. wide. April 17 14, 
Jonathan Arnold was taxed for this lot. May 17, 1716, Cornelius 
Merry jr. and Bethia his wife, of Hartford Ct., sell to Robert 
Cooper of Deerfield, for X32, " all the allotments of land in North- 
field made to his honored father, deceased, except 6 a. in Bennett's 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 169 

meadow." Cooper soon enlisted in the army, in which he had already 
seen, and was yet to see, much service; and Nov. 27, 1 7 1 7, he 
makes Capt. Ebenezer Pumery of Northampton, his attorney. His 
family lived here till 1737, when he removed to his "choice lot" 
above Cooper's Point. Some years later, he sold this home-lot to 
Joseph Stebbins. Oct. 31, 1765, Joseph Stebbins jr. sells to his 
son Zebadiah ; who sells, Jan. 26, 1785, to Samuel Field jr. In 
1795 it was owned by Oliver Watriss ; then by Samuel S. Stearns, 
who sold to Dea. Isaac Mattoon. James Mattoon sold the rear 
part of the lot to A. R. Lyman, and a house-lot on the street to 
Albert D. Stearns, and retains the balance. 

No. 9. The Isaac Warner lot: 6 a. 16 r. wide. April 17 14, 
this lot was held by his son Isaac jr., whose son Ebenezer sells it to 
Shammah Pomeroy. Pomeroy's son William built a new house on 
the north line of the lot, which is now owned and occupied by Jona- 
than Minott. 

No. 10. The John Hilyard lot : 6 a. 16 r. wide. In April, 
1 7 14, the property was held by Timothy Hilyard, son of John. In 
1737, it was owned by Peter Evens, and afterwards by his son Moses. 
In 1760, Moses Evens removed to Roxbury Canada, now Warwick ; 
and Mar. 10, 1761, sells for £226 the houserlot with buildings thereon 
to Shammah Pomeroy, and after his death it was held by his son 
William. The old house stood near the north line of the lot. Sham- 
mah Pomeroy's saddler's shop was a noted place in its day ; as was, 
later, the store of Pomeroy, Prior and Bowen, which was then a 
common two storied building, the upper story of which was occupied 
by lawyer's offices. The building has been remodeled, and is now 
the Post office, and store of L. T. Webster. The site of the store 
is owned by George Hastings, the balance of the lot by Jonathan 

No. n. The Joseph Parsons lot : jh a. 20 r. wide. This lot, as 
originally laid out, extended from the north side of the Post office 
building, to the south line of the present meeting-house lot. In April, 
1 7 14, Joseph Brooks was taxed for it. Aug. 12, 17 15, Joseph Par- 
sons and Capt. John Parsons sell it to Benjamin Stebbins of North- 
ampton. June 23, 1716, B. S. and wife Mary sell to Jonathan Hunt 
of Northampton, who sold it to Ebenezer Field, whose widow held 
it in 1761. In 1795 William Field owned the lot. In 1809 it was 
bought by Joel Munscll, who sold the rear part to William Pomeroy, 
retaining 4.} a. of the front, which he sold about 1820 to Samuel S. 
Stearns, who sold to William Pomeroy. 

170 History of Nortbfield. 

The Field house stood broadside to the street ; the workshop used 
by Mr. Munsell for the manufacture of his celebrated wooden plows 
standing back of the house, and jutting 10 feet southerly to within a 
few feet of the well now in Mr. Wright's summer-house. The 
rear part of the lot is now owned by Jona. Minott ; and on the front 
are the dwelling houses of Phinehas Wright and Mrs. Lydia D. Everett. 

No. 12. The Joseph Dickinson lot: 22 r. wide. This, now 
known as the Parson Doolittle lot, extended from the south line of 
the present meeting house, to Mr. Webster's north line. April 13, 
1 714, Nathaniel Dickinson of Hatfield, maltster, and his wife Hannah 
sell the lot to Lieut. Thomas Taylor of Deerfield. Lieut. Taylor, 
who was one of the most enterprising men of the town, appears to 
have built a large one story house, in the ample kitchen of which 
Sabbath services were held by Rev. Mr. Whitmore, and for a time 
by Mr. Doolittle. Lieut. Taylor was drowned in the fall of 1717 ; 
and Feb. 19, 1 718, the house was hired by the town for the Rev. 
Benjamin Doolittle, who was preaching as a candidate, and who with 
his wife moved into it in March. Oct. 8, 17 18, Mr. D. exchanged 
the " Minister's lot," on the east side of the street, with the heirs of 
Thomas Taylor, for this lot, paying ,£30 in cash. In 1723 a grant 
of 32 feet in length by 24 in width of the street, directly against the 
house he now lives in, was made to Mr. Doolittle, " to set a house on." 
Either the line of the street was then understood to be somewhat to 
the west of its present position, or Mr. D. did not occupy the full 
width of his grant ; as the two elms at the head of Rail-road lane, 
which were set by Caleb Lyman in 1782, mark the front entrance to 
the house then built. 

Dec. 31 1 76 1, Lucius Doolittle sells the lot to Eleazar Pomeroy 
of Sunderland for =£200. In 1773 Pomeroy sells to Caleb Lyman. 
Mr. Lyman put up a hatter's shop just north of the old house ; and 
in 1801, built the commodious house now standing on the northerly 
side of the lot. 

After the death of Caleb Lyman, the place was sold to Capt. Elisha 
Hunt ; and has since been owned by Samuel C. Allen, George H. 
Phelps, George Hastings and Lewis T. Webster, who purchased in 

In 1685 a highway two rods wide, on the north side of this home- 
lot, was laid to the cemetery ; and in all the earlier deeds said two 
rods was reserved for public use. But Eleazar Pomeroy shut up the 
way, and after trying a variety of expedients, the town, in April 1767, 
voted to give Eleazar Pomeroy four pounds ten shillings, for a legal 
right of way two rods wide through his home-lot to the buryi^ ground. 

Home-Lots in the Third Settlement. 1 7 1 

No. 13. The Samuel Davis lot: 22 r. wide. Nov. 10 1 7 1 3, 
Thomas Baker, formerly of Northampton now of Brookfield, sells 
Hezekiah Stratton of Deerfield, formerly of Concord, four-fifths of 
the lands in Northfield granted to Samuel Davis, deceased. Feb. 7, 
1722, Samuel Clarke, guardian of Mary Davis, daughter of John, and 
granddaughter of Samuel, sells to Stratton the remaining one-fifth. 
After the death of Mr. Stratton the land was divided, and in 1794 
the south part, five acres, was held by Caleb Stratton and sister, and 
the north part by Eleazar Stratton. Eleazar sold his part in the spring 
of 1795 to Solomon Vose, and after Esq. Vose left town, it was 
bought by Rev. Ebenezer Gay, for his daughter, Mrs. Timothy Swan. 
After Swan's death, it was sold to Benjamin Murdock, and is now 
owned by Winsor L. Fay. 

The south 5 acres was sola* Aug. 19, 1795, by Caleb Stratton to 
Benjamin Callender, who repaired the house, changing the gambrel 
roof to its present form, and built a large store, broadside on the street, 
with projecting roof and portico to match. Daniel Callender sold to 
Franklin Lord ; and the fro'nt is now occupied by the dwelling houses 
of Mr. Lord, S. Y. Walker, and A. S. Stratton. 

No. 14. The Micah Mudgelot: 22 r. wide. May 18, 1698, 
Micah Mudge and Mary his wife, now of Lebanon Ct., sell all his 
lands in Northfield to Thomas Leffingwell of Norwich Ct. June 
6, 1 7 1 7, Thomas LefHngwell and wife Mary sell this home-lot to 
Ens. Zechariah Field, who sold to Samuel Hunt. 

In 1797, Capt. Elisha Hunt bought of the town 6 rods in width of 
the 10 rods highway to the meadow, and April rg, 1809 sells 12 
rods in width (4 a. 120 r.) of the north part to John Nevers. Before 
Gen. Nevers built his house, there was a large barn standing near 
the spot, with the yard in front ; the stock were watered at the old 
fort well, near the line of the street. Mar. 5, 181 r, Arad Hunt sells 
the remainder of the lot, 6 acres, to Nevers — "bounded south on 
land formerly owned by Solomon Vose, on which Timothy Swan 
now lives." The lot is now (1873) ovvne d by Col. Charles Pomeroy. 

No. 15. The John Alexander lot: 7I a. 20 r. wide. March 8, 
1 72 1, John Alexander and wife Sarah, now of Northampton, sell 
the lotto his son, Joseph of Northfield. Jan. 14, 1 731, Joseph Alex- 
ander sells to Josiah Sheldon of Suifield Ct., who sells, Mar. 9, 1732 
to John Beaman of Deerfield, who resided here 15 years. In April 
1747, Beaman sells the lot with the buildings thereon to Rev. Ben- 
jamin Doolittle, for 160 pounds " new tenor bills." May 21, 1759, 
Lucius Doolittle sells the lot, with barn and cow house standing 

172 History of Nortbfield. 

thereon, to Philip Mattoon. The south part is now owned by J. L. 
Mattoon ; the north part by Hezekiah Mattoon. 

No. 16. The George Alexander lot: j-\ a. 20 r. wide. June 8, 
1 717, Samuel Curtis and Sarah his wife, of Northampton, with con- 
sent of Samuel Curtis and Henry Curtis, sell this lot to Lieut. Jona- 
than Hunt of Northampton, who put up a malt house, and appears 
by the records to have resided here 1720-23. May 14, 1728, Lieut. 
Hunt sells the lot to Eliezur Wright Sen., whose son Benoni owned 
and occupied it as late as 1764. In 1 79 r, it was owned by John 
Harback and Samuel Brewer, who that year put up a large building, 
the front part of which was used for a store, and the back part for a 
distillery. Rev. Mr. Hubbard names it as a distillery of gin ; but 
Mr. Francis Lyman says it was used for distilling New England rum 
from molasses. Mr. Harback died soon ; and Mr. Brewer left town 
in the fall of 1797. Feb. 24, 1796, George Burrows, merchant, of 
Boston, and Aaron Putnam, administrators of the estate of Harback, 
sell the lot, with dwelling house, barn, store and other buildings 
standing thereon, to Timothy Dutton. The Benoni Wright house, 
then standing, was quite old, the front part of two stories, the rear 
with roof sloping down near to the ground. In the centre of the 
house was an enormous chimney, with a front room on each side, and 
a capacious kitchen behind. Dea. Dutton lived in the old house for 
a year or two, till he could finish a new one — which, minus the 
wings, is still standing. The store was kept up by Dea. Dutton and 
his son Timothy B. Dutton, for many years. On the death of the 
latter, the property was sold to Jonathan H. Blake ; and is now owned 
by Franklin Field. 

No. 17. The Samuel Wright lot : 7} a. 20 r. wide. Feb. 8, 1715, 
Samuel Wright of Northampton, (son of the original grantee) sells out 
to his brother Ebenezer of Northampton, who sells Mar. 5, 1718, 
to his brother Eliezur. Nov. 5, 1725, Eliezur Wright sells the lot 
to his son Azariah, who married Jan. 27, 1727, widow Elizabeth 
Field, and July 4, 1727, moved into his new house. After living 
here 37 years, Azariah sells to his youngest son Abner, who, Mar. 
25, 1764, leases it to his father. About 1785, the lot was bought 
by Obadiah Dickinson Esq. who built the house now standing. It 
was subsequently owned by Thomas D. Doak ; now by John Mat- 
toon 2d. 

No. 18. The Thomas Webster lot: 7^ a. 20 r. wide. In April 
1 7 14, this lot was owned by Peter Evens, who built and resided here 
till 1741, when he removed for a time to his lands in Hinsdale, from 
which he was driven by the Indians in '44 or '45, and probably re- 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 173 

turned to his old home in Northfield. After his death, this estate 
was held by his heirs, and was sold, probably in 1759, to Ebenezer 
Harvey the carpenter, who lived here till 1773, when he sold to 
Aaron Whitney of Petersham. Whitney was a merchant ; and when 
the Revolutionary war broke out, the town's stock of ammunition 
was kept at his store. He was suspected of toryism ; and the town 
called a meeting July 10, 1776, on one day's notice, and voted, " To 
remove the town's stock of ammunition from Mr. Whitney's store 
to some other place." He however regained the confidence of his 
fellow citizens, and was often honored by election to important offices. 
He sold, Sept. 11, 1789 to Benjamin Green of Boston, who sold 
May 14, 1792 to David Barber a son-in-law of Dea. Dutton. The 
old store was continued in operation for many years by Mr. Barber. 
The property was sold by the Barber heirs to J. C. Brigham. 

No. 19. The John Woodward lot: 7 \ a. 20 r. wide. Previous 
to April 1714, Peter Evens bought all of John Woodward's rights 
in Northfield. Aug. 7, 171 7, Evens sells this lot and 22 a. of 
meadow, to Thomas Hoiton of Northampton, who immediately took 
possession. Hoiton was killed by the Indians Aug. 13, 1723. Let- 
ters of administration were granted Dec. 6, to widow Mindwell 
Hoiton and her brother Dea. Samuel Allen of Northampton. The 
inventory of the real estate was not returned till Mar. 18, 1736 ; and 
the heirs probably lived here some time longer. About 1760, the lot 
was purchased by Aaron Burt, who conveyed it by deed of mortgage, 
July 26, 1766, to Charles Ward Apthorp of New York. In 1772, 
the lot was owned by Crean Brush, Jonathan Burt, and Samuel Wier, 
who sold April 27, 1773 to Aaron Whitney of Petersham. Sept. 
11, 1789, Whitney sells to Benjamin Green of Boston. In 1791 or 
92, Green sells to John Barrett Esq. who took possession, and made 
the lot his homestead. In 1796 or 97, writes Mr. Francis Lyman, 
" Lawyer Barrett built a good two story house, said to be the best on 
the street at that date. Shortly after, Capt. Elisha Hunt built one on 
the corner south of the centre school house, which was thought to 
be a little better than Barrett's. This touched the pride of the law- 
yer, and he added another story to his house ; which in turn touched 
the pride of the Hunts, and the Capt. put on a third story — in neither 
case adding to the comfort or beauty of the dwellings." 

This lot is now owned by J. C. Brigham. 

No. 20. The John Clary lot. This historic spot has been spoken 
of in preceding chapters as the probable site of an Indian village, 
and the site of the second fort erected by the white settlers. 

In April 17 14, this double lot was set in the tax list to Joseph 

174 History of Northfield. 

Clary, son of John. June 30, 17 17, Samuel FCingsley of North- 
ampton and Joseph Clary of Swampfield sell the lot, with the mill 
privileges adjacent, to Stephen Belding of Swampfield. Jan. 26, 
1779, this property was sold by Stephen Belding (Junior) to Aaron 
Whitney, who made large improvements, and carried on an extensive 
business in lumber and merchandise for several years. Sept. 1 r, 1789, 
Whitney sells to Benj. Green of Boston, who sold to John Barrett 
Esq. Barrett put up a store a few rods down the hill, which was kept 
a short time by Benjamim Callender, and subsequently by Thomas 
D. Doak, who eventually removed to Canada. The upper mill 
privilege was sold to Ezekiel Webster ; the fulling-mill and a con- 
siderable part of the land to Josiah Fisher, who sold in 18 14 to Capt. 
James White. A house-lot, on the original Richard Francis grant, 
is now owned by H. W. Webster, who has the Ezekiel Webster 
mill privileges. The balance of the Barrett lot is owned by J. W. 
Cowles, whose house stands near the bank of the brook, some dis- 
tance back from the street. 

This completes the list of estates in what was originally called the 
Town plot. But as several homesteads were assigned in the Second 
Settlement, north of the brook, and as these lots are intimately asso- 
ciated with events which transpired in the early period of the Third 
Settlement, a brief account will be given of the estates between 
Mill brook and Pauchaug. 

The first five lots as originally laid out, were 60 rods long by 20 
wide: the others extended to the River — which eventually became 
the limit of all the lots. 

The Zachery Lawrence lot: 7} a. 20 r. wide. July 6, 17 14, 
Zachery Lawrence, formerly of Northfield, now of Hatfield, sells all 
his lands in N. to Joseph Clary of Hatfield, who sells this home-lot 
to Isaac Mattoon of Deerfield. July 15, 171 7, Isaac Mattoon sells 
to Hezekiah Elmer of Northfield, who held it till about 1741. Jan. 
8, 1749, Simeon Alexander, blacksmith, sells this lot for 300 pounds 
old tenor to Jona. Belding ; who sells it, April 9; 1750, to Aaron Burt 
for .£'45. 

Mar. 21, 1765, Aaron Burt and wife Miriam give a mortgage deed 
to Christopher Devonshier and William Reeve of Bristol, England. 
It is described as containing 10 acres, and bounded westerly on the 

W. C. Billings has a house on the southeasterly corner; and Henry 
Wright 2d owns the balance of the front of this lot. The rear part 
is owned by H. W. Webster. 

The Samuel Boltwood lot: 7-J a. 20 r. wide. Iq^ April 1714, 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 175 

William Boltwood held it in his father's right. On the opening of spring 
he went to Canada, to aid in recovering some English captives held 
by the French, and died below Quebec, on his return, Aug. 27, 17 14. 
Jan. 5, 17 1 7, Ebenezer Boltwood, of Berwick, York Co. Province 
of Maine, sells to Joseph Burt of Hatfield, all his honored father's 
rights in Northfield. About the time of Burt's death in 1757, a 
mortgage deed of this lot was given to Zachariah Johonnot of Boston, 
who held it in 1765. The property was subsequently redeemed by 
Aaron Burt, who spent his days here. The house, built by Joseph 
Burt, and once painted red, was standing within the memory of many 
now living. The Burts had a store, just north of the house, which 
was a noted place of business and resort in the early times. 

In 1790, Asahel Cheney owned this property, and carried on an 
extensive business in the manufacture of eight-day clocks, many of 
which still exist, good time-keepers. 

Elihu Phelps and Rufus Stratton bought the lot, and set up a dis- 
tillery on the river-bank. They sold to Capt. Richard and Eli H. 
Colton. The place is, now owned by the latter, who built a house on 
the exact site of the old Burt mansion. 

The Joseph Warriner lot: j} a. 20 r. wide. Nov. 1, 171 1, Ebe- 
nezer Warriner of Enfield Ct. sells all his father Joseph's rights in 
Northfield to Eleazar Mattoon of Deerfield. After several ex- 
changes, it came into possession of the Burts. In 1753, Aaron Burt 
owned 5 acres of the south part, and Enos Burt had the north part. 
Mar. 21, 1765 Aaron Burt mortgaged his 5 acres to Devonshier and 
Reeve. Eventually it came into possession of Phelps and Stratton, 
who sold to Richard Colton and son. It is now owned by Eli H. 
and Alonzo Colton. 

The William Syms lot : 7} a. 20. r. wide. April 4, 1721, this 
lot was granted by the town to William Syms. Jan. 20, 1724, 
Syms gives a mortgage deed to Henry Dwight of Hatfield, who the 
next year took a warranty deed ; and it was held by Dwight's heirs 
for several years. Asahel Burt owned the lot in 1742, and at the 
time of his death in 1747, and it was taxed to his heirs as late as 
1758. In 1765 Aaron Burt gives a mortgage deed of this property, 
then called a 10 acre lot, to Devonshier and Reeve. In 1792, the 
lot was owned by James Merriam ; since by Ebenezer Bancroft, 
Warren Mattoon, Lewis T.. Webster, and now by J. Campbell. 

The Joseph Alexander Jr. lot: j\ a. Mar. 4, 1723, this lot was 
granted by the town to J. A. Jr. who sells it Dec. 9, 1732 to Eben- 
ezer Petty of Northfield. In 1745 Joseph Petty owned 3 acres of 
the south part, which he sold to Ebenezer Warner, who in 1758 

176 History of Nortbfield. 

sells to Eldad Wright, the Petty heirs holding the remainder. Simeon 
Lyman bought 9 rods in width of the south side of the lot, i. e. 6 
rods of Eldad Wright and 3 rods of — Petty. James Merriam, 
cabinet maker, bought the remaining 6 rods in width, and built a 
house and shop, which he sold to Ebenezer Bancroft. The whole 
lot is now owned by Francis Fisher. 

The John Brown lot. This is the first of these lots which origin- 
ally extended to the River. As laid out, it was 24 rods wide in 
front and 10 rods in the rear. It was granted by the town in 1730 
to John Brown, who sells Jan. 31, 1734 to Joshua Lyman, black- 
smith, then of Fort Dummer. Simeon Lyman, son of Joshua, settled 
here at his marriage, where he spent his days, and where since have 
lived his son Joseph, and grandson Simeon. The old house is now 
the kitchen part of a new and convenient dwelling. 

A house lot of £ of an acre at the southeasterly corner is now oc- 
cupied by Wright Stratton. 

Next come a 4 acre lot, which was granted io. 1733 to Enoch 
Hall, (who sold and removed in 1736 to Arlington, now Winchester) 
and a lot of 10 acres, originally laid out for a pasture to the heirs of 
Thomas Holton. With some changes of lines not now to be identi- 
fied, the two appear to have been merged in one, and after various 
changes of ownership, the lot was purchased about 1782, by Major 
Elisha Alexander, who " moved from his father's across the way 
when his first child was two years old." The Major was a black- 
smith -, built a shop towards the north line of his lot, near where his 
son Elijah afterwards lived. This house lot of \\ acres is now 
owned by Charles Alexander. The main part of the old homestead 
is owned by William D. Alexander. 

The Doolittle estate. This comprises two early grants. The 
southerly one, of 6£ acres, was laid out July 27, 17 19, to Benoni 
Crafts ; was sold by his heirs to Daniel Shattuck, who sells Feb. 17, 
1726 to Rev. Benjamin Doolittle. The remaining 10 acres was a 
special grant, for a pasture, made to Mr. Doolittle in August 1718, 
when the town gave him a call to settle with them in the ministry. 

Mr. Doolittle commenced building a house on this lot as early as 
1744; but it was not finished till the close of the war, and near the 
time of his death. 

His son Lucius kept a noted stage tavern here for many years ; 
till the establishment of the turnpike, with its toll-gates, drove the 
travel from Southern Vermont for Boston, to a more northern route. 
The tavern sign is still preserved. On the top is the date, 1784. 
In the centre is painted a rabbit, with a tall elm standings on the right 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 177 

and left ; and underneath, in clearly cut lettering is, Doolittle's 
Tavern. It was a swinging sign ; and the inscriptions and pictures 
are alike on both sides. This homestead is now owned by Charles 

Near the top of Pauchaug hill are two dwelling houses ; the first, 

a brick house, owned by Trask of Erving, stands on the spot 

where Joseph Beach had a small house, many years ago ; the other 
was built by John L. Mattoon, and is now owned by Joseph Lyman. 

Returning now to the lower end of the street — the east side lots 
were nominally 60 rods in length, and reached to a two rods highway, 
which was laid out the entire length of the Town plot. 

No. 1. The Thomas Blaksley lot: j\ acres. This was trian- 
gular in shape, bounded southerly on Miller's brook, and was 40 rods 
wide on the street. It was granted by the town Feb. 10, 1720, to 
Thomas Blaksley, a relative of Rev. Mr. Doolittle. He was in 
town for a year or two, but probably did not take possession of the 
lot. It was afterwards granted to Benoni Wright ; but no house 
was erected on it. 

No. 2. The William Sanderson lot : 7^ acres. Aug. 12, 17 18 this 
lot was granted to William Sanderson. Sanderson took possession ; 
but the digging of clay, and setting up a brick-kiln in the highway, 
rendered it an undesirable place of residence, and he removed to 
Springfield, and Dec. 29, 1724, sells the lot and all his land rights in 
Northfield to Henry Dwight of Hatfield. In r 73 r, Dwight sells to 
Dea. Samuel Smith, who subsequently bought the Blaksley lot. The 
double lot was held by Capt. Reuben Smith, and is now owned by 
John Wright. 

No. 3. The Edmund Grandee lot : 20 rods wide. This lot was 
granted to Edmund Grandee Dec. 17, 1717 ; but it is doubtful if he 
set a house upon it. About 1723, it was granted to Benjamin 
Miller, who sold it Nov. 14, 1729 to Ens. Zechariah Field. In 
1 761, the lot was bought by Elias Bascom, weaver and clothier, who 
lived here upwards of 20 years. In 1795, the estate was owned by 
Jabez Whiting, tanner ; and subsequently by his son Abner. It is 
now owned by Isaac Mattoon. 

Benjamin Miller, who built the first house on this lot was a sol- 
dier, hunter and trapper. He is reported to have killed as many as 
99 deer in a single season, the skins of which he tanned and sold 
for breeches. April 23, 1 731, the town granted him 13^ acres of 
land on the east side of Dry Swamp, 80 r. in length north and south, 
by 29 r. in breadth east and west. Dea. Phinehas Field says : " he 

178 History of Northfield. 

built his house a little south of the brook, and paid for it in deer 
skins. His smoke-house was at the foot of the hill, right against the 
turn of the road leading to Wendell.". 

No. 4. The Ebenezer Field lot: 25 rods wide. In 171 7, this 
lot was granted by the town to Jonathan Patterson, tailor, of Deer- 
field ; who died the next year. March 10, 1719, the town made a 
grant of 8 a. of land " reserved for a smith," and 22 a. additional, to 
Ebenezer Field, blacksmith, of Deerfield, on condition of his remov- 
ing to Northfield, and exercising his trade. The next year Mr. 
Field made a bargain with the Patterson heirs for this home-lot, and 
commenced to build a house, which was finished in the winter of '21. 
His deed from Eliezer Hawks and Mary Patterson, admin", is dated 
Oct. 8, 1722, two years after he took possession. He was killed in 
Sept. 1723 ; and the homestead was sold to Ens. Zechariah Field, 
in whose family it remained for many years. Ebenezer Field had a 
" House of Entertainment" here as early as 1 77 1 . He was succeeded 
by his son Abner. The lot is now owned by John Mattoon. 

No. 5. The Eleazar Mattoon lot. In 17 17, Dea. Mattoon, who 
first took the Joseph Warriner, and afterwards the Palmer lot, north 
of Mill brook, exchanged the latter, by leave of the town, for this, 
till then vacant lor, where he built a house, and lived till 1738, when 
he sold to Seth Field Esq. and removed to Amherst. In modern 
times the place is known as the Seth Field homestead. In 1795, it 
was owned by Josiah White, millwright, who sold to Zechariah 
Field (son of Dea. Paul), who built the house now standing. The 
estate has since been owned by Thomas Lord, and now by Joseph 

Th"e highway north of this lot was laid out 10 rods wide. But 
as it was not all needed for public travel, Mar. 13, 1728, the town 
voted, that Jonathan Janes shall have 3 rods wide of land in the high- 
way, from Lieut. E. Wright's home-lot southerly, upon considera- 
tion that s d Janes do maintain the rest of s d highway for the benefit 
of the town. Said Jonathan Janes doth promise for himself and his 
heirs forever to maintain a good feasible road through the above said 
highway, from the first rise of land or little pond, to the rear of Lieut. 
Wright's lot. This right and obligation continued in force till the 
spring of 1797, when Ebenezer Janes gave to the town a quit-claim 
deed of the said 3 rods in width, and the town released him from the 
obligation to support the road, — and at the same time voted to- give 
him 7 rods in width of land lying south of his homestead, as already 

Soon after this exchange, the town agreed to sell & rods in width 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 179 

of the north side of the highway in question ; and it was accordingly 
divided into 5 lots, each 6 by 12 rods, and sold to the highest bidder. 
Obadiah Dickinson bought the first lot, abutting on the street, which 
was afterwards annexed to the adjacent home-lot, now owned by 
Timothy Field. 

No. 6. The Joseph Root lot : 20 rods wide. In April 17 14, this 
lot was held by the original grantee. Dec. 27, 1720, Joseph Root 
then of Sunderland, sells to Jonathan Belding, who exchanges June 
x 5> x 7 2 5 w ' tn Lieut. Eliezur Wright, for the Jacob Root lot. Ne- 
hemiah Wright, son of Eliezur, built a house and lived here for many 
years. About 1784, Ebenezer White bought the place, and built the 
house now standing. White was a jeweller and merchant. Mar. 
27, 1788, Ebenezer White, goldsmith, sells this home-lot for ^6300 
to Josiah White millwright : but in 1797 it was owned by Ebenezer. 
The lot was afterwards purchased by Samuel Field. There are now 
three dwelling houses upon the street front, severally owned by 
Timothy Field, Charles H. Stearns, and the heirs of Capt. Samuel 

No. 7. The John Hutchinson lot: 20 r. wide. Dec. 1, 1717 
Jonathan Hunt of Northampton sells all the lands in Northfield 
granted to John Hutchinson, now of Lebanon Ct., to Lieut. Eliezur 
Wright, who built, lived and died here ; and was succeeded by his 
son Col. Phinehas, and his son Eliphaz, and his son Horace. Col. 
Phinehas built near the south side of the lot. The house was of two 
stories, with only two rooms on the ground floor, and stood close to 
the street line. It was clapboarded, and was painted red. Eliphaz 
built just north of his father, leaving a drive way between the house 
and the old apple tree still standing. Horace built on the north part 
of the lot, which is now owned by the heirs of Robert G. Cook. 
The southerly part belongs to the Lane estate. 

No. 8. The Benoni Moore lot; 19 r. 1 1 ft. wide. This lot 
lay common during the First and Second Settlements. It was granted 
in 1 7 14 to Remembrance Wright ; but he did not take it up. Mar. 
8, 17 16, it was granted to Benoni Moore, who Jan. 6, 1 7 19 gave a 
mortgage deed to Henry Dwight of Hatfield ; but he appears to have 
redeemed the mortgage, and lived here till after 1742. In 1795, the 
lot was owned by Oliver Watriss, who built a house on the north 
part, which was held by his son Richard, and is now owned by Mar- 
tin Dickinson. 

The south part of the lot was purchased by Jabez Parsons, and is 
now the homestead of his son A. C. Parsons. 

No. 9. The William Miller lot : 20 r. wide. This estate was 

180 History of Northfield. 

held by che Miller heirs till Dec. 17, 17 17, when Ebenezer and Ab- 
raham Miller sell all their father's land rights in Northfield to William 
Holton, weaver, of Northampton. Eleazar Holton lived here with his 
brother for a considerable number of years: About 1785, Samuel Hol- 
ton's heirs sell the lot to Hophni King, carpenter. In 1789, King sells 
5 a. (13.I r. wide) of the north part to Elisha Hunt. Mar. 6, 1792, 
Hunt sells the 5 a. to Oliver Watriss who also buys the south part. Be- 
fore 1795, Watriss sells 4 a. on the north side of the lot to Reuben 
Wright, which is now held by Henry Wright — except a house lot of 
1 a. (8 X 20 rods) on the front, which was sold in 18 12 to Isaac Prior, 
and is now the Joel Fay homestead. About 1793, Watriss sells the 
3^ a. on the south side of the lot to Barnabas Billings, who put up a 
house, which he used for a dwelling and store. April 15, 1804, Bil- 
lings sells his 3} a. with buildings thereon, to Caleb and Josiah D. 
Lyman, who sold to Jabez Parsons. The front is occupied by the 
dwellings of H. S. and E. F. Russell, and Dr. M. S. Mead. 

No. 10. The Ens. John Lyman lot: 20 r. wide. In 17 14, 
Capt. Benjamin Wright bought this lot, and sold 3^- a. of the south 
part to his son Remembrance, and the same is now held by Henry 
Wright a direct descendant. 

Jan. 7, 1724, Capt. Wright sells the north half of this lot and 1 
a. of his original grant adjoining — making 4^- a. — to his son Daniel, 
who built and lived here. In 1795, Reuben Wright owned the en- 
tire lot. The original south line of the Ens. Lyman grant, was 
just north of Joel Fay's north bounds. And none of the present 
division lines here correspond with those of the original grant. The 
dwelling houses of Henry Wright and Col. Belcher stand on this 

It is a fact of special interest, that the 3 \ a. of the south part of 
this lot, is the only homestead on the street, which has passed by di- 
rect descent from father to son since the resettlement of the town 
in 1 7 14. 

No. 11. The Capt. Benj'n Wright lot : 19 r. 11 ft. wide. Capt. 
Wright took possession of this estate in 1685 ; his house stood a lit- 
tle south of the centre of the lot. Dec. 26, 1728, he sells 3 a. 30 r. 
(83- rods wide) of the north part, including half the barn, to his son 
William, and retains the 3 a. 30 r., which he called his own homestead, 
till July 10, 1740, when he sells to Remembrance Wright Jr. 

In 1795, Dr. Medad Pomeroy owned the north part, and David 
Wright the south part. Dr. Pomeroy built the house now standing 
which was then regarded as new style, and very elegant, and was the 
pattern for most of the first class dwellings put up near that date. 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. i 8 I 

The turnpike, which was laid out in 1799, took 2 rods in width of 
the front and nearly 4 rods in width of the rear of this lot. Col. Jonathan 
Belcher bought the south part of this estate, and the north part of the 
adjoining lot, in 1821, of Caleb Cook, and retains 8 rods in width as ■ 
his own home-stead. The balance of the lot, except the town house 
site, is owned by George Alexander. Capt. Wright's original south 
line was just north of Col. Belcher's house. 

No. 12. The William Clarke lot: 19 r. 11 ft. wide. In 17 14 
this estate was held by the Clarke heirs, and in 17 17 was taxed to 
Eben r and Increase Clarke of Northampton. April 22, 1721, Eben- 
ezer Clarke sells the lot to Moses Nash of Hadley, who sold in 
1726 to Joseph Stebbins of Deerfield, who spent his days here. 
Elisha Stebbins next owned it, and sold the north half to Joshua L. 
Woodbridge and the south half to Noadiah Warner. May 10, 1787 
Woodbridge and Warner sell to Obadiah Dickinson ; who sells June 
2, 1787, to Joseph Coolidge of Boston. In 1795, the estate is owned 
by Edward Houghton, who built a new house about the time the 
turnpike was projected, and opened a hotel, which has since been kept 
by Amos Alexander, Aaron Lord, Chapin and Allen, Thomas B. 
Mattoon, and is now owned and kept as a hotel and summer board- 
ing-house by James S. Pickard. The turnpike took a strip of 2 rods 
in width and running to a point, on the southerly side of this estate. 

No. 13. The Nathaniel Alexander lot: 19 r. n ft. wide. Na- 
thaniel Alexander held his right in the estate till 17 19 or 20, when 
he sold to his nephew Ebenezer Alexander, who sold to Jonathan 
Hunt, who sold Mar. 1, 1738 to his son Samuel, yho left it to his 
son Elisha. Rev. Thomas Mason purchased the lot, and sold \ of 
an acre to Thomas Lyman, who built a small dwelling-house and 
hatter's shop. This Lyman lot — enlarged to £ of an acre is now the 
homestead of Charles Osgood. The Mason heirs sold the balance 
of the lot to Arad Alexander, who sold to David West Allen, the 
present owner. 

No. 14. The Richard Lyman lot : 19 r. n ft. wide in front : 20 r. 
5^ ft. in rear. Nov. 29, 1 7 1 5, Ebenezer Edwards of Coventry Ct. 
sells this lot and all other lands in Northlield of Richard Lyman, late 
of Lebanon, Ct. deceased, to Jonathan Hunt of Northampton, who 
sells in 1719 or 20 this home-lot to Ebenezer Alexander. Dec. 8, 
1732, Dea. Alexander sells to Samuel Hunt, who left it to his son 
Elisha. Capt. Samuel Hunt kept a noted tavern here as early as 1765 : 
which was continued by Capt. Elisha, as late as 1802. Capt. Hunt 
built his new house — now standing — about the year 1798 ; at first of 

I 8 2 History of Northfield. 

two stories ; but added another, to keep even with lawyer Barrett, as 
before narrated. 

This property was purchased by the Northfield Academy corpora- 
tion in 1829, newly fitted up, and held by them till the franchise was 
sold to Phinehas Allen in 1836. Mr. Allen relinquished his school 
in 1843 » wnen tne premises were occupied as a Temperance hotel, 
for a time. A. W. Ross now owns the Hunt homestead. Dr. 
Philip Hall purchased a home lot at the southwesterly corner of this 
estate, where he built and still resides. 

No. 15. The Minister's lot: 19 r. 1 1 ft. wide. This reserved 
lot was made over to Rev. Benjn. Doolittle, in 1718, but he did not 
occupy it ; and Feb. 4, 1720 exchanged with the heirs of Lieut. Tho- 
mas Taylor, deceased. Jan. 13, 1740, Thomas Taylor, cordwainer, 
sells this lot for £i$7-> to Lieut. Jona. Belding. Nov. 24, of the 
same year, the town granted Lieut. Belding 1 1 feet in width adjoin- 
ing the rear of this lot, the same to be continued across the lot next 
north, and for 2 rods and 1 1 feet on the rear of the Merriman lot, 
" in lieu of what is wanting in y e minister's lot, on condition he ac- 
cepts it." Dec. 7, 1763, Jona. Belding Sen. deeds to Jona. Jr., 
the home-lot granted to the minister, "reserving one-third part of 
the house during my natural life." This house is now standing. 

Jona. Belding Jr. sold 4 acres of the south part of the lot to Dr. 
Charles Blake, who built the house now owned by VV. H. Phelps. 
The north part was held by Joseph Belding; then owned by David 
Ball, who repaired the house ; then by Elbridge Foskett, who sold to 
Rev. Theodore J. Clarke. 

No. 16. The Jacob Root lot: 20 r. wide. June 24, 171 7, 
Jacob Root, then of Hebron Ct. sells his home-lot and 30 a. of 
meadow, to Lieut. Eliezur Wright of Northampton. June 15, 1725, 
Lieut. Wright exchanges this for the Joseph Root lot, with Jona. 
Belding, who held it during his life. After 1795, 4} a. (12 r. wide) 
of the north part was sold to James Darling, who sold to Timothy 
B. Dutton, and the same is now the homestead of Dea. Samuel W. 
Dutton. The balance of the lot, and the north part of the Minis- 
ter's lot — 7 acres — is now owned by Rev. T. J. Clarke. 

The meeting-house of the second Congregational Society stands 
on the northwest corner. 

No. 17. The Daniel Warner lot: 20 r. wide. In 17 14, this lot 
was taxed to Eleazar Warner. In 171 8, it was granted to Theophilus 
Merriman of Wallingford Ct. After his death in 1723, it was held 
by his heirs in common till 1737, when it was divided as follows: 
to the widow 2h a. ; to Theophilus Jr. 2 a. ; to Samuel 1 a. ; to 

Home- Lots in the Third Settlement. 183 

Sarah 1 a. ; to Anna 1 a. Dec. 28, 1737 Ephraim and Anna (Merri- 
man) Chamberlain sell her portion, lying on the north line of the lot 
(2 Jr. wide) to Jona. Belding, who sells the same Feb. 9, 1750 to 
Rev. John Hubbard. In 1742, Josiah Willard Jr. of Keene owned 
h a. of this estate, and Thomas Taylor owned a part. In 1749, the 
town appointed a committee to negociate with Samuel Merriman for 
the purchase of the lot ; and subsequently granted it to Rev. John 
Hubbard as a parsonage. It has since been known as the parson 
Hubbard home-lot : and is now owned by Moody Darling and Walter 

No. 18. The Samuel Orvis lot: 16 r. wide. Jan. 30, 1718, the 
town grantectfthis lot to Samuel Orvis of Farmington Ct. Feb. 17, 
1720, Orvis sells to Stephen Belding, who sells in 1727 to Nathaniel 
Dickinson of Hatfield, who built a house in 1728. The house was 
brick-lined, and had brick ends, and was used as a fort in the old 
French War. The Dickinson heirs sold the north half to Gad 
Corse of Deerfield, a tanner and shoe-maker. This half was owned 
for a time by Cephas Wells of Waterbury Ct. who sold Feb. 8, 
1808 to Benjamin Darling. It is now owned by Azariah R. Bar- 
ber. The south half was owned in 1795, by Benoni Dickinson ; in 
1808 by Samuel Dickinson ; since by Jona. H. Blake, Josiah Brown, 
and A. W. Ross ; now by Boucher de Stone. 

No. 19. The Benoni_Crafts lot: 16 r. wide. Aug. 12, 17 18, 
the town granted this home-lot and other lands to Benoni Crafts of 
Hatfield, who settled, and died here in 1722. April 7, 1725, John 
Crafts, administrator, sells the homestead to Josiah King, cordwainer, 
who soon after sold to Daniel Shattuck. It was next owned by 
Asahel Stebbins, and sold by his heirs before 1754 to Alexander 
Norton, whose son Selah held it. Dea. Moses Field bought it, and 
built a new house. It is now owned by P. McHugh. 

No. 20. The Benj. Wright Jr. lot : 24 r. wide in front, 12 r. in 
rear. Aug. 12, 17 18, this lot was granted by the town to Benj. 
Wright Jr. who was a disabled soldier, and becoming poor, mort- 
gaged the lot Dec. 18, 1720 to Thomas Wells of Deerfield. Dur- 
ing the years 1728-9, the heirs, viz. John and Rachel Bemenr of 
Northfield, Enoch and Martha Hall of N. ; Thankful Wright, spin- 
ster, of Durham Ct. and Asa and Rhoda Childs of Deerfield sell the 
estate to Benoni Wright Sen. In 1772 it was owned by Nathan 
Fiske, tailor, who removed to Westminster Vt. and sold Aug. 30, 
1782, to Ezekiel Webster, blacksmith, of Deerfield. The lot has 
since been held by his son Arad, and his son Charles. 

184 History of Northfield. 

This home-lot is bounded northerly on Mill brook, and was the 
last lot in the town plot. 

North of the brook were two home-lots, 20x60 rods, laid out and 
granted in 1685. 

The Benjamin Palmer lot. Dec. 29, 1702, Benj. Palmer, then 
of Plainfield Ct. sells this homestead to Enoch Randall of Enfield 
Ct. who sold to Eleazar Mattoon. In 17 17, Mattoon exchanged 
with the town, for the lot down street, on which he built : and April 
4, 1721, the town grantedthis lotto Stephen Crowfoot, carpenter, of 
Hatfield. Mar. 1, 1735, Crowfoot sells to Thomas Blalcsley of 
Waterbury Ct., and Mar. 8, 1735, T. B. sells to Benoni Wright of 
Northfield. Samuel Burr from Hartford Ct. owned or occupied the 
south part of this lot from about 1734 to 1749, when he removed to 
Hinsdale. In 1781, John Holton owned the lot, and held it for 
many years. The north half is now owned by J. L. Dunklee ; the 
south half by Timothy Crelan. 

The William Weeks lot. In 1735, this lot was owned by Abra- 
ham Elgar, who sold, before 1750, the south half to John Holton, 
and Feb. 7, 1753, sold the north half to Aaron Burt, who also bought 
out Holton. Burt sells 3 a. on the south side to Elisha Stebbins, 
who sold his 3 a. April 20, 1781 to William Belcher, tailor; and the 
same is now owned by Elias Lyman. Aaron Burt sold the 4 a. on 
the north side to Dr. Samuel Prentice. Dr. P. set his house on the 
high land back from the street, intending some day to put a more 
pretentious edifice in front, to which the other could be attached as 
an ell. But advancing age, and the scattering of his family, pre- 
vented. This 4 a. is now owned by C. W. Shepardson. 

North of this point, the land lay common till 1731, when the town 
made what is known as the First division of Commons. Lot No. 
31, lay partly back of the Weeks home-lot, and partly reached to 
the street. This part, containing 14^ acres, was 220 r. Jong, as 
were all the remaining lots. The list, from this point north, is as 
follows : 

31. Containing in all 23]- a. to Dea. Eleazar Mattoon ; 

32. 2^ acres, to Ebenezer Webb ; 

33. 25 \ acres, to Isaac Warner; 

34. 7 \ acres, to Jona. Patterson's heirs ; 

35. 13]- acres, to Remembrance Wright ; 

36. 3}- acres, to John Bement ; 

37. 7^ acres, to Benj'. Miller ; 

38. 12 acres to Joseph Burt ; 

39. 10 acres, to Samuel Smith ; 

Home- Lots in the- Third Settlement. 185 

40. 12^ acres, to William Wright ; 

41. 2 J acres, to John Alexander ; 

42. 26 acres, to Dea. Ebenezer Alexander ; 

43. 14 acres, Thomas Holton's heirs ; 

44. 37 acres, to Jonathan Belding ; 

45. 2$ acres, to Joseph Petty Jr. ; 

46. 12-^ acres, to Thomas Taylor's heirs ; 

47. 37^ acres, to Stephen Belding ; 

48. 6 J acres, to Ebenezer Field's heirs ; 

49. 19^ acres, to Daniel Shattuck ; 

Most of these lots soon changed owners ; and many of the divi- 
sion lines were obliterated. And it is possible to state only in a 
general way, how the present homesteads assumed their dimensions 
and forms. 

Isaac Warner sold out, May 19, 1731 to his son Israel, who also 
bought the same year. Ebenezer Webb's 2-} acres, and built a house, 
about 1734, just below the site of A. A. Long's. Afterwards this 
place and the Dea. Mattoon lot adjoining, came into possession 
of Eldad Wright, who built or rebuilt, near the old spot. It was 
"a house of ancient date " in 1795. The place is now owned by 
Alvin A. Long. 

Next north is the Dea. Samuel Root homestead, comprising four 
or more of the early grants. As early as 1750, Dea. Root built a 
house and hatter's shop near the centre of this lot, where he car- 
ried on a successful trade, and spent his days. His son Moses sold 
this farm of 43 a. 50 r. April 27, 1797, to Timothy B. Dutton, 
who sold to Col. Medad Alexander. Col. Alexander divided the 
lot, and sold the south part to John Long. The north part is now 
owned and occupied by Capt. Henry Alexander. 

There was a house and garden spot of half an acre, on this farm, 
occupied from 1784 to '94 by John Pitts, who advertizes in the Green- 
field Gazette Sept. 4, 1792, that he " carries on the business of making 
clothier's shears at Northfield, cheap for ready pay." Probably the 
same house is referred to in the deed from Root to Dutton, in which 
is a clause, M reserving his house and \ an acre of land to Ephraim 
Wilson for 5 years, with a right to move it off then." 

The next 35 acre homestead comprises the Division lots laid out 
to John Alexander, William Wright, Samuel Smith, and in part that 
of Joseph Burt. April 28, 1731 Samuel Smith sells his 10 acres to 
John Alexander, tailor, of Northfield, and the said John, Oct. 5, 
1733, then a soldier at Fort Dummer, sells the same to his brother 

1 86 History of Nor thfie Id. 

Joseph. This and the balance of the 35 acres was purchased by 
Capt. Thomas Alexander, whose son, Col. Medad, built the house 
now owned by R. C. Fisher. The south part is now owned by A . 
L. Hale. 

Next north is the Dea. Ebenezer Alexander homestead. Dea. 
Alexander sold his home-lot in the village in the winter of 1732, and 
built, probably the next year, on this Division lot. His was the 
first house put up in the immediate neighborhood ; was brick lined ; 
and had a projecting upper story with port holes. In the old French 
War the house was transformed into a fort, and a mount erected — 
to be described in full in a subsequent chapter. Simeon Alexander, 
the blacksmith, succeeded his father ; by whom or his heirs, the lot 
was sold to David Barber (who also bought the Holton and part of 
the Belding lots). Sept. 2, 181 2, David Barber Jr. sells Elijah 
Alexander and Richard Colton, the south half — 23^ acres — of the 
lot which he bought at vendue of Ezekiel Webster guardian to David 
Barber Sen. bounded south by Col. Medad and Thomas Alexander, 
and north by the other part of said lot. Capt. Colton subsequently 
bought the balance of the estate, which embraces the original Dea. 
Alexander and part or all of the Thomas Holton lots. It is now 
owned by E. Wells Colton. 

Jonathan Belding appears to have put up a house on the northerly 
part of his grant, but at what date is uncertain. It stood north of 
the Winchester road. His son Jonathan sold the northerly part of 
this grant to Lewis Page, who sells 4 a. of the same to Isaiah Moody 
April 13, 1797. Mr. Moody purchased of David Barber Jr. the ba- 
lance of the Jona. Belding lot, now owned by Z. Rugg, L. A. Moody 
and M. A. Moody. 

Still further north, John Petty built a house about 1736, perhaps 
near the site where is now the house of Elisha Alexander. The 
view of the valley and distant hills to the west and north west, from 
these lots, is one of rare beauty. 

Descending towards Pauchaug, are now the houses of Thomas 
Conway ; Willard Bancroft ; and the house built 75 years ago by 
Elisha Lyman. 

Sept. 3, 1790, Elijah Stratton sells Levi Page of Keene N. H. 
4J acres, lying on the east side of the road near Pauchaug old gate, 
bounded east by Alexander Norton, north by Philip Mattoon, west 
and south by the road leading to Pauchaug gate, with house on the 
premises. [Pedajah Field sold^this lot to Hezekiah Stratton, June 23, 

I 745«] 

Home -Lots in the Third Settlement. 


Odd Lots. — The town sometimes granted leave to individuals 
who had no home-lot, to put up houses in the street. The following 
is an example : " Mar. 4, ijlS. Liberty of a small piece of land is 
granted to Nathaniel Chamberlain for his use this year to set a house, 
and a garden spot up in the Lane as is by the side of Ens. Zechariah 
Field's home-lot as is going down to the upper gate, or else upon the 
front of the street against the front of Ens. Field's lot." 


Father Ralle s War. 1 723-1 726. 

Occasion of the War — Father Ralle and French Intrigue — Massachu- 
setts and New Hampshire against Canada — The New England People 
not united — Soldiers at Northfield — Town Forts built — Close of 
the Committee's Administration, and the Town incorporated — Gray 
Lock — Killinc of Thomas Holton and Theophilus Merrmian — At- 
tack on the Town, Oct. 9, 1723 — Fort Dummer built — Town Forts 
rebuilt — Death of Father Ralle — Capt. Kellocg's Expeditions — 
Capt. Thomas Wells's Scout — Capt. Benj. Wright's two Scouts — 
Death of Gov. Vaudreuil— Treaty of Peace. 

HEN the thread of our narrative was broken off, in the pre- 
ceding chapter, a war with the Indians was impending. 

It does not come within the scope of this work, to treat of 
the remote causes of this war. Directly, it grew out of the 
pushing forward of settlements, and building of forts, at the head of the 
bays and up the rivers in the Province of Maine, on lands which the Eng- 
lish claimed to have acquired by purchase and by treaty — the validity 
of which claim the Indians denied. The Indiansalso charged the Eng- 
lish with bad faith, in neglecting to erect trading houses, for the 
convenient exchange of peltry and supplies, and the non-fulfillment 
of other stipulations. 

The Governments of England and France took no open part in 
this war. Ostensibly, it was a struggle between the Provinces of 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire on the one side, and the Indian 
tribes living east of the Merrimack river on the other side. Con- 
necticut had no interest in these eastern lands ; she was comparatively 
safe from attacks, as her northern and western neighbors were a wall of 
defence ; and she aided her sister colonies only so far as policy dictated. 
New York was opposed to the war. She had at best but few bonds 
of sympathy with Massachusetts. It was for her interest to build 
up and control the trade with the native tribes living to the west and 
north ; and any line of action which might endanger her existing and 
somewhat complicated Indian alliances, was manifestly impolitic. In 
a letter dated Dec. 16, 1724, Gov. Burnet says, "As to entering 
into a war with the eastern Indians, the assembly of this Province in 
1722, did expressly refuse to contribute to." 

Father Ralles War, 189 

It was a Massachusetts war. Her people bore the brunt of the 
fighting and the costs. She placed upon the altar the sacrifice which 
wrought the redemption of New E ngland, and secured a 20 years' peace. 
New Hampshire supported Massachusetts ; indeed her position left 
her no other alternative. Many of the leading officers in command ' 
were New Hampshire men — though a small part only of the forces 
were raised by that government. 

At the outset, war measures were much hindered by a division of 
sentiment among our own people •, a considerable party, both in and 
out of the legislature, doubting whether a war upon the natives would 
be right or even justifiable. They deprecated the waste of blood and 
treasure, always incident to the arbitrament of the sword ; questioned 
the equity of our demands, while they gave full credit to the alleged 
provocations and wrongs of the savages. As late as April 20, 1724, 
Col. Samuel Partridge of Hatfield in a letter to the governor says : 
u In the way we are in, that company of eastern Indians may 
hold us in hazards, especially the frontiers for many years. They 
say we take their lands ; it seems to be meet that matter was settled, 
and a line of division settled between us and them, and if any of ours 
claim to their wrong, it should be righted, and not a whole Province 
and neighboring Provinces put to such vast expenses, yea the loss of 
many lives, as hath been experienced already." This want of una- 
nimity in prosecuting the war, was a cause of weakness, and gave 
great encouragement to the Indians and their allies. 

For while the two parties in the struggle were, in appearance, the 
people of Massachusetts and New Hampshire on the one side, and 
the eastern Indians on the other, the real power with which the two 
colonies were at war was the Governor General of Canada backed by 
the King of France. The following paper, found in the French 
Archives at Paris, gives the modus operandi. 


Memoir Refpecling the Abenaquis of Acadia, 1718. 

"Tis true that the limits of New France and New York were fixed by virtue 
of the treaty of Ryfwick [1697] at St. George's river, where the arms of the 
two crowns had been attached to a fpruce tree, the branches of which had been 
cut off. But the war which followed foon after, changed the limits. The 
fpruce tree has been thrown down. Moreover the Abenaquis pretend that the 
whole of that coaft, and all the rivers to be found therein, belong to them. 
And it is our intereft to fultain thefc pretenfions. It is in fact the only means 
we poflefs to prevent the Englifh cilablifhing thcmfelves throughout that entire 
country, up to the height of land, that is very near to Quebec and Montreal. 

190 History of Northfield. 

" If it be proper' to maintain the Abenaquis in our alliance, the governor of 
Bolton mulf. be given to underftand, that if he undertake to fettle any of the 
lands belonging to our Indian allies, it will be impoflible to refufe affiftance to 
them. And the neceffity of this courfe will be obvious, if we refledl ever fo 
little. 1. That this nation [the Abenaquis] is the only fupport of the Colony 
againft the Englifh or the Iroquois. 2. If we do not admit or pretend to admit 
their right to the country they occupy, they will never be induced to take part in 
any war for the defence of this fame country, which is the rampart of Canada. 3. 
If ibme intereft be not exhibited in their defence, they will divide themfelves be- 
tween the French and Englifh ; and inafmuch as they experience better terms in 
regard to trade from the latter than from the former, it will not be long before 
they arc wholly attracted to them. More than half the tribe is already Englifh 
by inclination, and retained only by Religion ; their miffionaries alone have the 
power, it is admitted, to perfuade them to fubmit to the will of the Governor 
General. 4. If matters be allowed to proceed, ever fo little in the courfe they 
have been for Ibme time purfuing, New France will be bounded on the fouth 
by the river St. Lawrence : it will be necefTary to abandon all our polls and 
fettlements on that fide, and nothing will prevent the Englifh and Iroquois mak- 
ing irruptions into the very heart of Canada. 

" A goodly number of Englifh families having made their appearance fome 
years fince at the lower part of the river Kennebec, below the Norridgwalk 
million, received permiffion to fettle there, and have actually two forts there. 
Father Rallc, miffionary at N. did make fome efforts to prevent this fettlcment, 
the confequences of which he forefaw. * * The Indians of Nor- 

ridgwalk beginning lafl fummer to take fome umbrage at their new guefts, wifhed 
to know, in cafe it become necefTary to ufe force to diflodge them, whether 
they could count on the aid of the French ; they deputed fome among them to 
wait on the Marquis de Vaudreuil to explain to him the fituation in which they 
were placed, and to demand of him, who called himfelf their father, and to 
whom they had always been fubmiffive as children, whether he was difpofed to 
aflift them againfl the Englifh in cafe of a rupture, as they had affifted him at 
the expenfe of their blood on every occafion that he had required them. The 
General afTured them that he fhould never fail them in time of need. But what 
afliitancc, Father, will you give us ? they afked. My children, anfwered M. 
de Vaudreuil, I (hall fecretly fend you fome hatchets, fome powder and lead. 
I will engage the other Indian tribes to furnifh you aid, and rather than aban- 
don you to the mercy of the Englifh, I will myfelf march at your head." 1 

As is made evident by this document, a main reliance of the 
French, in establishing their power over the natives, was through 
religious proselytism. The priests of the Catholic faith always went 
with the earliest adventurers, to establish missions and open chapels. 
And just now, these missions afforded a convenient cover for politi- 

1 Col. Hiu. of N. r., ix, 878. 

Father Ralle 1 s War. 191 

cal designs, and the priests were the most efficient agents in stirring 
up the Indians to jealousy, and urging them on to acts of war. 

The two most prominent or" these agents, in the interest of the 
French, were the Rev. Father Superior, La Chasse, and Father 
Sebastian Ralle. And from the leading public part taken by the lat- 
ter in the principal events of this struggle, it has been called Father 
Ralle's War. — Sebastian Ralle, or Rale was of French descent, b* 
Jan. 4, 1657. Being appointed a missionary from the society of 
Jesuits to the Indians of North America, he embarked July 30, 1689, 
and arrived at Quebec in October. He learned the language of the 
Abenakis ; was stationed at St. Francis; was in Illinois 1693-4; 
was on the Kennebec from 1695, till his death Aug. 23, 1724. 
From papers found in his possession, and in his own hand-writing, the 
governor of Massachusetts felt authorized to say, in a letter dated Jan. 
1 9, 1 725, " He [Ralle] instigated the Indians to war and rapine, instead 
of preaching peace and friendship; agreeable to the doctrines of the 
Christian religion — as is proved by the papers found among his 
effects at Norridgewock." 

The war opened. 1722. — The first open act of war on the part 
of the Indians, was on the 13th day of June, 1722, when a party of 
60 savages, appearing on the northern margin of Merrymeeting bay 
in 20 canoes, took captive 9 entire families. This was followed by 
other similar outrages ; and July 25, the governor and council of Massa- 
chusetts formally resolved, that the Eastern Indians were traitors and 
robbers, guilty of plundering, despoiling, murdering and taking captive 
many of his Majesty's good subjects, and declared war against them 
and their confederates. 

The principal theatre of this war was in the Province of Maine, 
and the details do not properly belong to our narrative. But the 
intimate relations subsisting between the Eastern tribes and the St. 
Francis, and French Indians, as the remnant of our River clans was 
called, rendered it certain that the frontier settlements in Hampshire 
County would suffer. 

As before related, Northfleld had been in charge of a small garri- 
son, almost ever since the resettlement. But in view of the dangers 
from the threatening attitude of the Indians, the inhabitants, in the 
month of- June, 1722, sent a petition to the General court, asking 
to be put in a posture of defence ; and July 6, the Court ordered, 
That the soldiers at Northfleld be directed to garrison one or more 
suitable houses for their security ; and the inhabitants are recom- 
mended to assist the soldiers with their teams. 

192 History of Northfield. 

The soldiers at Northfield, referred to in the Court's order, was 
a Co. of 10 men under command of Lt. Joseph Kellogg, in service 
here from May 31 to July 24. As soon as the first crop of hay was 
secured, a stockade of some pretensions was begun, on the premises 
of Stephen Belding, (the site of the old Clary fort), and another 
• around Ensign Zechariah Field's house. And near the same time, 
a full company of men was raised and put under command of Capt. 
Samuel Barnard of Deerfield, for the defence of that town and 
Northfield. They were in service from July 24 to Nov. 20. 
Lieut. Kellogg was second in command, and was stationed at North- 
field with 20 men. Capt. Samuel Partridge raised a company, for 
the protection of Hatfield and vicinity. In Capt. Barnard's Muster 
Roll, are the following names ? Jonathan Hunt, clerk, Sergt. 
Joseph Clesson, Sergt. John Pomroy, Josiah King, Josiah Stebbins, 
James Porter, Benoni Wright, Orlando Bridgman, Eben' r Miller, 
William Clarke, Samuel Wright, Thomas Alexander, John Miller, 
Joseph Stebbins, Benj. Wait, Samuel Lancton, all accredited to 
Northampton ; Japhet Chapin, Eben' r Webb, Caleb Chapin, of 
Springfield ; John Sergeant, of Worcester ; John Brooks, Asahel 
Stebbins, of Deerfield ; John Brown, Nathaniel Prior, Enoch Hall, 
Joshua Gerry, of Enfield. In Capt. Partridge's Co. in service 
from Aug. 18, to Nov. 26, were, Corp. Eleazar Warner, Corp. 
William Sims, Wm. Sanderson, Richard Burt Sen. andjun., unsettled; 
Abraham Elgar, of Enfield ; Ebenezer Petty, Josiah Miller, David 
Burt, of Springfield ; Cyprian Wright of Rutland. Many of these 
names will often appear, in connection with our annals. 

When the war opened, Col. Samuel Partridge of Hatfield, 78 years 
old, had the chief command in Hampshire Co., and next to him was 
Lt. Col. John Stoddard of Northampton. 

1 723. Early in the winter, Lieut. Kellogg writes to the governor — 
" The forts at Northfield are in a mean condition, and the people are 
neither willing nor able to make them good and defensible ; and I am 
apprehensive that the inhabitants will leave the place unless they are 
allowed more men and better defenses." Governor Dummer wrote 
to the authorities in Hampshire Co. urging that the people of North- 
field should be encouraged to repair the forts, and promised his in- 
fluence with the legislature, to secure them a reasonable recompense. 
But the matter moved slowly. The repayment of expenses and 
the allowance of just charges by the General court, were very uncer- 
tain. Besides, it is to be considered, that Northfield was at this date 
in a transition state — the Committee that had so long managed their 
affairs being about to retire, and the people to assume the full control 

Father Ralles War. 

J 93 

of civil and military matters. The old order of things was not quite 
wound up ; and the new order was not well established. But, 
through the influence of Cols. Partridge and Stoddard, some further 
repairs and additions were made to the forts ; so that Col. P. writing 
May 14, could say. " The River is pretty well secured by the forts 
and men at Northfield and Deerfield ; but, he adds in the same let- 
ter, the towns cant stand the strain upon them, to watch, and ward, 
and fort, and scout, without pay, while their spring work is pressing 
to be done ; they cant get a living." 

Civil Affairs. 

Number of polls taxed, 1723 39 

Number of non-refidents and women taxed,.. 18 

Tax on the poll, i±s 6 d 

Tax on the pound valuation, %\d 

Total tax levied, £1608 15 o 

The Town Incorporated. 

" At a General Aflembly for the Province of the Maflachufetts Bay held at 
Bofton the 29th of May, 1723 

A Petition of the Proprietors and Inhabitants of Northfield, (hewing that 
they have been under the management of a Committee appointed by the General 
Court, for feveral years — that many of the faid Committee live at thirty miles 
diftance from the faid Town, which brings a great difficulty and inconvenience 
upon the affairs of the faid Town — and that the number of Inhabitants is fo far 
increafed that they judge themfelves capable of managing the prudential affairs 
of the faid place — And therefore praying that they may enjoy all the privileges 
and immunities of a Town as others do : 
In the Houfe of Reprefentatives, Read and Ordered 

That the Town of Northfield be and hereby is authorized and impowered 
to have ufe exercife and enjoy, all fuch powers privileges and immunities which 
other Towns have ufe exercife and enjoy. And that Capt Benjamin Wright 
and Lieut. Eliezur Wright, two of the principal Inhabitants of the faid Town, 
are hereby directed and impowered to notify and fummon the Inhabitants duly 
qualified for voting, to afTemble and meet together for the chufing of Town officers 
to Hand until the annual election according to law. 
In Council, 

Read and Concurred. 

Confentcd to 

Saturday June 15, 1723. Wm. Dummer. 

Thus the Plantation was incorporated into a Town, just 50 years 
after its first settlement. At a town meeting, held July 22, officers 
were chosen as follows : Joseph Petty, moderator ; Eleazar Holton, 
town cleric; Zechariah Field, Benoni Moore, Joseph Petty, selectmen; 
Ebenezer Field, constable; Benoni Moore, Nathaniel Mattoon. Theo- 
philus Merriman, Stephen Crowfoot, Ebenezer Severance, Ebenezer 

194 History of Northfield. 

Field, fence viewers ; Eleazar Mattoon, Thomas Holton, surveyors ; 
Daniel Wright, Eldad Wright, haywards ; Benjamin Janes, tythingman. 

The Indians that had settled on the St. Francis river, and at Be- 
cancourt, were situated convenient to make incursions on either the 
eastern or northern frontiers ; and the Cagnowagas and other clans 
dwelling near the northerly end of Lake Champlain, were nearer the 
Hampshire Co. settlements. Gov. Vaudreuil was early in sending 
emissaries and presents to these last named tribes, and inciting them 
to acts of hostility against the English. He supplied them liberally 
with guns and ammunition ; and induced a large war party — the In- 
dian account says 300 — to set out early in the summer, to watch and 
annoy the exposed points, and report to him all important movements. 

Gray Lock. — The Indian chief, most prominent in the exploits 
of this war, on our borders, and the leader in some daring and successful 
expeditions, was Gray Lock, so called from the color of his hair. He 
was a chieftain of the Waranokes, who lived, previous «o King 
Philip's war, on the Westfleld river, and removed thence to the Mo- 
hawk country. He was now well advanced in age ; but retained all 
the daring, and tact, and energy of his youth. He was well known 
to the people of the river towns ; and seems to have been capable of 
inspiring regard by his friendly offices and shrewdness in time of peace, 
as well as awakening dread by his craft and cruelty in time of war. 
He said that he in one instance lurked for a whole summer in an out 
of the way place in Westfleld, to get a chance to make captives of 
a family of the name of Bentley. He also watched a family of the 
name of Noble, who lived out of the village, stating afterwards that 
he had several chances of killing most of the children at a shot, but 
he did not then want scalps but captives. 

At the time of Queen Anne's war, he was living near Mount 
Royal, and was known as a French Indian that headed small parties 
fitted out to prey upon the exposed towns on the Connecticut river. 
In 1723, Gray Lock was living on the shore of Missisquoi bay, at 
the northerly end of Lake Champlain. He had built a fort on a 
small creek, and collected a considerable band of followers. Some 
rich meadows here afforded the squaws a chance to plant large fields 
of corn. His method was, to go forth with a force of trusty savages, 
larger or smaller according to circumstances, build a camp at some 
convenient and secluded point near the towns, and keep out spies and 
scouts in small parties, who were ready to take scalps or captives, and 
hurry away for Canada. Col. Partridge writes — " This enemy can 
and sometimes do lie in wait two months about a town, before they 
kill or take, as some of them have acknowledged." 

Father Ralle's War. '195 

In the early spring of this year, Gov. Dummer, in conjunction 
with the military commanders of Hampshire Co,, took much pains, 
through the agency of Col. Schuyler and the other commissioners at 
Albany, to conciliate Gray Lock, and some of the other chiefs living 
near the lake. Belts and other presents were sent : but somehow, it 
always happened that he was never found at home by the messengers. 
(He had already accepted a more valuable belt.) 

During the late spring and early summer months, his whereabouts 
was not known. Lt. Kellogg, with his 20 soldiers, was doing effi- 
cient guard duty, and almost daily sending out his scouts, and our 
people were feeling entirely secure. August 13, while the men were 
scattered in their grain-fields, Gray Lock with a party of 4 Indians, 
waylaid and killed two of our- leading citizens, viz. Thomas Holton, 
aged 42, and Theophilus Merriman, aged 31. The circumstances 
of the killing were not recorded, and cannot now be ascertained. 
Taking the scalps, the Indians pressed on to Rutland, where, the next 
day, they attacked Dea. Joseph Stevens and four of his sons as they 
were making hay in a meadow. The father escaped to the bushes : 
two of the boys, Joseph and Samuel were killed ; and two, Phinehas 
and Isaac were made prisoners. Soon after, meeting on the road the 
minister, Rev. Joseph Willard, they killed and scalped him, took his 
clothes, and with the two captives started for Canada. Phinehas was 
soon redeemed, and became the distinguished Captain, and hero of 
No. 4, in the next war. Isaac was given to the Cagnowagas, and 
was regained with some difficulty. The redemption money was 
raised in part by contributions in different towns. The family had 
been resident in Framingham ; and a collection was taken up in the 
meeting house there, April 19, 1724, amounting to £1$ 5. 

News of the raids at Northfield and Rutland reached Boston, 
August 16. And on the 17th, Gov. Dummer issues orders to Col. 
Partridge to impress 18 able bodied men, well armed, to be employed 
as scouts, 5 each at Northfield and Brookfield, and 4 each at Deer- 
field and Sunderland, to be kept constantly ranging the woods about 
these several towns. 

At this time Hampshire Co. had two companies of cavalry, one under 
the command of Capt. Adijah Dewey of Westfield, the other under 
Capt. Henry Dwight of Hatfield. Aug. 30, an order was despatched 
to Capt. Dewey to " rally up his troopers and march to the upper 
towns, scouting and repairing to the places of most danger, for the space 
of I4days ; then Capt. Dwight with his Company was to take his place 
". r h* same term of time ; and so they were to alternate for a campaign 
ot 8 weeks." And this significant condition is appended to the order — 

196 History of Nortbfield. 

" You are to provide for yourselves arms, ammunition and provisions, 
all which are to be paid for by the public." The want of military 
stores and a commissary department, was a serious drawback in this and 
the succeeding war. Companies and drafted men had to provide ammu- 
nition, clothing and provisions, after being mustered ; and thus time 
enough was consumed to enable the active enemy to make good his 
retreat, before his pursuers were ready to march. 

Capt. Dewey's troop took the field Sept. 3. The captain's pay 
was 35 shillings per week ; private's 10 shillings. Rations were 
rated at 5J. per week, and 1 gill of rum per day when the men were 
"improved in scouting the woods and lying out a nights." Three 
shillings six pence a week was allowed for a horse, and the same for 
a horse's feed. In Capt. Dewey's Company were Medad Pomeroy, 
Samuel Smith, John Evens, Samuel Root, John Root, and John 
Coombs for pilot. 

After the affair at Rutland, Gray Lock and" his party made a quick 
retreat to his fort. His success, in scalps and prisoners, gave him 
fresh eclat, and by giving the younger of the Stevens boys to the Cag- 
nowagas as a present, he bound that tribe fast to his interest. On 
the first of September he was ready to start on a new expedition, at 
the head of 50 Indians, composed of his own clan and Cagnowagas. 
Gov. Vaudreuil furnished them with 10 guns and plenty of ammu- 
nition. Col. Schuyler at Albany got news of the movement, and 
promptly notified the Massachusetts government. Sept. 13, the go- 
vernor issued orders to the troops then in service in the valley, " to be 
on the alert not to be surprised by ambushes, and use y r best endeavors 
to surprise the enemy, and when you shall find their tracks you are 
to pursue them ten days at the least, unless you shall come up with 
them sooner." But the savages knew the mountain paths and hiding 
places better than the soldiers ; and long and careful observation 
had made them perfectly familiar with the habits of families and 
working parties, and the situation of all out-fields and exposed points. 

October 9, taking advantage of a remissness in military vigilance, 
and the carelessness of a party of farmers who were at work at corn 
harvest, the Indians made a sudden onset at Northfield, and killed 
Eben r Severance ; wounded Hezekiah Stratton and Enoch Hall ; and 
took Samuel Dickinson prisoner. It will be remembered that Dick- 
inson was taken captive at Hatfield in 1698, when 11 years old, and 
rescued from the Indians near Pomeroy's island. [See ante, p. 126.] 

Oct. 11, Col. Partridge orders Capt. Dewey to forthwith move 
his troop to Deerfield, and send half the officers and men to North- 

Father Ralles War. 

l 97 

field, " to improve y e time in scouting, and guarding y e people to get 
in the remainder of y e harvest, and to take some of y e people and 
scout to the north and west in the woods." And on special request 
being sent to Hartford, by the Massachusetts authorities, a company 
of Connecticut troops was sent up to Northfield,' who were in service 
here for a few weeks. 

As our town seemed singled out for destruction, the governor and 
council judged it necessary to give the inhabitants more efficient pro- 
tection ; and November 9, sent a captain's commission to Lieut. 
Kellogg, with orders to raise a company, of which 40 men were to 
be stationed at Northfield, and the rest to be kept constantly on the 
alert, and either in force or by squads, to scout on the river in places 
most likely for the discovery of the enemy's motions, and thus pro- 
tect and secure the inhabitants of Northfield, Deerfield and Sunder- 

Mujler Roll of Capt. Jofepb Kellogg' s Co. 
Nov. 20, 1723 to May 30, 1724. 

George Bates, Had. 

Capt. Jofeph Kellogg, Stiff. 
Lt. Timothy Dwight, Nhn. 
Lt. John Pomeroy, " 

Clerk, Jonah King, 
Sergt. Elifha Searl, 
«' Jonah Stebbins, 
«■ Waitftill Strong, " 
M Robert Cooper, Nfd. 
Corp_Japhet Chapin, Spg. 
" Benoni Wright, Nfd. 
" James Stevenfon, Suff. 
" John Sergeant, Wore. 
Daniel Shattuck, *' 
John Brown, Enfd. 
Enoch Hall, 
Samuel Vining, " 
Chriftopher Sitton, Enfd. 
James Porter, Nhn. 

Orlando Bridgman, " 
Afahel Stebbins, " 
Thomas Sargent, " 
John King, 

Shem Japhet, Spg. 
Bcnj. Bodurtha, " 
Abraham Elgar, " 

Jofeph Merchant, " 

Samuel Kellogg, " 
Hezekiah Stratton, Nfd. 

Benjamin Miller, " 

Jonathan Janes, " 

Eleazar Mattoon, " 
Daniel Wright, 

Jonathan Belding, " 

Daniel Severance, " 

Stephen Belding, " ' 

Hezekiah Elmer, " 

Edmund Grandee, " 
Eldad Wright, 

Nathaniel Hawks, Dfd. 

George Swan, " 

Nathaniel Brooks, " 
Jodiua Wells, 
John Allen, 

James Corfc, " 
Anthony Wirelbury, Hat. 
Jofeph Billing, 
Jofeph Burt, 
Ebcnezer Williams, " 

Stephen Winchell, Wind. 

198 History of Nor thfield. 

Jofeph Morgan, Spg. Caleb Winchell, Wind. 

Jona. Warriner, " Jofeph Allen, Suff. 

Abraham Burner, " Nathaniel Auflcn, " 

Benj. Brooks, " David Smith, " 

Samuel Bodurtha, " Ebenezer Smith, " 

Jofiah Scebbins, " William Hunter, Long Is. 

Benjamin Mun, " John Ellis, Narrag. 

David King, WfJ. John Amman, Farm. 

John Bcamon, " John Holmes, Old Eng. 

JacobWhcdcr, " Benj. KimbaJl, Ips. 

David Sackctt, *' 

Albany, Nov. 28, 1723. 
To Col. Partridge: 

I have yours of the 19th. The two Indians y l have been with the belt of 
wampum to Cagnowaga are come back again. They found the Cagnowaga 
Indians were gone to y r parts: but y r Sachems faid they went againft their 
will ; their young people were deluded. * * Three Cagnowagas 

who have been at Northficld arrived here yefterday. Saguenognas and Caho- 
wafco two chief captains, and his brother-in-law. They tell me they had no 
defign to do any harm : but Gov. Vaudreuil perfuaded them, and gave them 
powder and fhot and ten guns ; but they are very forry and afhamed that they 
have gone, and fay they will never go again. All the Indians who have been 
out, upwards of 300, are come back again, except 5 eaftern Indians, who re- 
turned back to your frontiers. I hope they may do no harm. 

John Schuyler. 

These repeated incursions of the savages, with impunity, aroused 
the spirit of the old scout, Capt. Benjamin Wright, and Dec. 5, he 
wrote this characteristic letter to Gov. Dummer: 

Hon' 1 Sir : After my mod humble duty prefented, thefe are humbly to 
requeft y r Honor to grant me the liberty of commanding five and thirty or 40 
men to go on the back of this army which came to Northfield as far as Otter 
Creek, and thence round to White river, and fo home by Conn, river. This 
I humbly judge to be very ferviceablc to this part of the country, and probably 
might be the means of destroying fomc of the enemy : And if y r Honor fee 
meet to give me orders, we think it a piece of good fervice to march the road 
which the enemy went, as far as Otter Creek. We are defirous we might go 
upon the wages the Province allows and the encouragement they give to fuch 
for fcalps. We would find ourfclves and be allowed for it by the Government. 
The whole I humbly lubmit to y r Honor's wifdom to direct ; and if y r Honor 
dont fee meet to fend me, I humbly requcit that fome more fuitable pcrfon 
might, that fo our enemy might be difcouraged and the country defended. 

Northficld Dec. 5, 1723. Benj'n Wricht. 

Father Ra/fe's War. 199 

• The matter was referred to a committee of the legislature, John 
Stoddard chairman, who reported, w that an expedition to St. 
Francis, the head quarters of the Indians, would be of great service, and 
may if prospered put an end to the present war : 400 able bodied 
men, English and Indians might be thought sufficient. A smaller 
party to the heads of the rivers may be of service to destroy some 
small hunting parties of the enemy. But if on account of winter 
being so far advanced, it be not advisable to make either of the above 
named marches, then a party of 30 or 40 to Otter Creek might do 
good, provided some western Indians go with them." 

There appears to have been so many ifs in the way, that Capt. 
Wright's plan was frustrated. 

Fort Dummer. — A movement of the utmost importance to the 
safety of the frontiers, was projected at this date, and carried out in 
the next few months. The following documents give the particulars. 

Dec. 27, 1723. In the House of Representatives, voted, That 
it will be of great service to all the western frontiers both in this and 
the neighboring government of Connecticut, to build a Block-house, 
above Northfield, in the most convenient place on the lands called the 
Equivalent Land, and to post in it 40 able men, English and western 
Indians, to be employed in scouting at a good distance up Connecti- 
cut river, West river, Otter Creek, and sometimes eastwardlv 
above Great Monadnock, for the discovery of the enemy coming 
towards any of the frontier towns ; and that so much of the said 
Equivalent Lands as shall be necessary for a Block-house be taken up, 
with the consent of the owners of the said lands, together with 5 or 
6 acres of their interval land, to be broke up or plowed for the pre- 
sent use of the western Indians, in case any of them shall think fit to 
bring their families thither." 

The duty of selecting the site, and superintending the erection of 
the fort, was committed by Gov. Dummer to Lt. Col. John Stoddard ; 

who writes, 

Northampton Feb. 3, 1724. 
Sir: I rec d yours of Jan. 8, and 21, and have engaged divers perions to 
make fnow-fhoes. Some of the moginfons arc already made and fent to North- 
field. * * I have committed the work about the Block-houfe to Lieut. Timothy 
Dwight. Mr. Dwiglit will go tin's day to the place with 4 carpenters, 12 
foldiers with narrow axes and 2 teams. I fuppofc they will hew all the timber 
bn/n for the fort and houfing before they return. I hope the fore and houfes 
will be framed and let up this month. Capt. Kcllogg's 10 (upcrnumcrary men 
are turned over to the other company, and two more added which makes the 
number Col. Partridge was ordered to raife j and orders arc given for the ex- 

200 History of Norihfield. 

change of a few of Kellogg's moft inefficient men for fuch inhabitants as are 
driven from their lands. 

As for Col. Buckminfter's men, we hear nothing of them. [Col. Jofeph Buck- 
miniter of Framingham was ordered to imprefs men for fervice at the new fort.] 
I have talked with Capt. Kellogg about a Lieut, for him ; he feems to think well 
of Jofeph Cleflbn. Mr. D wight needs a fccond in command ; names Elilha 
Searle now a ferg 1 . under Capt. Kellogg. He was long a captive in Canada. 
Mr. D wight wants a chaplain at his fort. 

P. S. I forgot to notice your fuggeftion about fetting ftockadoes around the 
Block- houfe. I dont fee the benefit of it, as we intend to make the fort fo 
ftrong that the lblJiers will be fafe, even if the enemy get within the parade 

To Lt. Gov. Dummer. John Stoddard. 

In another letter, of later date, Col. Stoddard writes : 

" We agreed with carpenters from Northfield [Stephen Crowfoot, Daniel 
Wright and 2 others] for 5 (hillings per day, except Crowfoot, to whom I promifed 
6 (hillings, and they all allow that he earned his money by doing fo much more 
work than the others. The foldiers had a very hard fervice, lying in the woods, 
and were obliged to work early and late : it is thought they deferve 2 (hillings 
per day befides the dated pay, and the carpenters fomcthing more. The horfes 
were worked very hard, and commonly had nothing to eat but oats, and I be- 
lieve 2 (hillings a day will not be thought an excefs for fuch fervice." 

The fort was built of yellow pine timber, which was then abund- 
ant on the meadow lands. It was nearly square, each side measuring 
about 180 feet. It was laid up in the fashion of a log house, the 
timbers being locked together at the angles. A row of houses was 
built against the wall round on the inside, with a single roof, and 
fronting on the hollow square, which served as a parade ground. The 
cost of the structure was .£256. The fort stood on the west bank of 
the Connecticut river, just within the southerly limits of the present 
town of Brattleboro, Vt. ; and was named Fort Dummer, in honor 
of the then acting governor of Massachusetts. 

As soon as the Block-house was well under way, Capt. Joseph 
Kellogg was sent to Albany to make efforts to induce the Maquas to 
enlist as soldiers for its defence. He spent much time and money, as did 
other commissioners later ; but to little purpose. Some Indians came 
on and staid a few months ; but when the real danger of the post be- 
came apparent, they left. They were ready enough to return, after 
the war was over y and stay //'// another war threatened. The truth 
afterwards come out, viz. that early in 1723, Gov. Vaudreuil had 
sent a belt of friendship to the Maquas, which they had accepted. 

Father Rate's War. 


When finished, the command of the fort was given to Capt. Timo- 
thy Dwight, who held it with a Co. of 55 men. He continued in 
charge here till the close of the war, when he was succeeded by Capt. 
Joseph Kellogg, who retained the command till 1740. 

Mujler Roil of Capt. Timothy DzoigbCs Co. at the Block-boufe above Nortbfield. 

Feb. 1, to May 31, 1724. 

Capt. Timothy Dwight, Nhn. 

Lt. Eliflia Searl, •« 

Sergt. John McRanney, Spg. 
" John Burlc, Hat. 
" Robert Cooper, Nfd. 
Corp. William Syms, " 

Jacob Wheeler, Kind'k. 

Jona. Stanhope, Sud. 

James Hayes, Stow. 

Jona. Janes, Nfd. 

Nathaniel Mattoon, '* 

John Brooks, Wind. 

David Clark, 

John Thrall, 

Thomas Wooleft, " 

Stephen Winchell, " 

Jona. Warriner, Spg. 

Samuel Burr, Hartd. 

Thomas Burler, Marlb. 

Robert Hunt, 

W-m. Hunnibufs, Cone. 

Jeremiah Wedge, Fram. 

Uriah Clark, 

Dan 1 Dickinfon, Stratd. 

John King, SufF. 

Dan 1 Severance, Dfd. 

Jofeph Allen, 

Hendrick, Maqua Sachem. 

Chriftopher Sitton, Enfd. 

John Peafe, " 

Jonathan Peafe, " 

Elijah Gillett, 

George Swan, England 

Anthony Wierfbury, Germany 

John Ellis, R. I. 

John Bement, Weft'd. 

Jofeph Gillett, Lebanon 

Michael Fokt, Simlbury 

Caleb Chapin, Spg. 

Abraham Burnet, 

John Frolt 

Pclatiah Jones, 

Robert Carter, 

John Crawford, 

Ezerus, Maqua Sachem. 

Kewahcum, Weftonhook, 

Cofaumpt, Wittaug, 

Ampaumet, Sachem, Hudfon's river. 

Wattunkameag, •* 

Pomagun, " 

Watunnoowoozeet, " 

Taukaquint, " 

Noonoowannet, " 

Poopoonuck, " 

Suckkeecoo, Schaticook 

The Town Forts Rebuilt. — Capt. Kellogg writes, Jan. 10, 1724, 
to Gov. Dummer : U I have 50 men committed to my care by Col. 
Partridge, 40 of whom are at Northfield with me, and 10 at Deerfield. 
These men I have with the utmost care kept at watching, warding 
a4 scouting. * * I would repeat my former request to y r Honor, 
with respect to our forts, y l some care might be taken y' they might 
be made better, for they are exceeding mean." 

202 History of Nortbfield. 

The governor immediately directs Col. Stoddard " to review the 
forts at Northfield, and advise and encourage the inhabitants to re- 
pair them." Between this and the 5th. of March, Stephen Bel- 
ding's premises were surrounded with strong pickets, and a heavily 
timbered mount built ; a line of pickets was set around parson Doo* 
little's buildings : and the Zechariah Field fort and mount were finished. 

Jona. Beldings Account of work done at tbt North Fort. 

My felf and team, 1 day ; and felf and 3 cattle to cart, 1 day £0 1 1 o 

Five day's work of felf and ferg 1 Moor o 12 6 

Self and team to cart mount timber 1 day ; and felf one day's 

work at ihe mount o 70 

To 1063 feet of boards at 2s 6d 1 7 o 

To all the rails for the fort, o 10 o 

To 2 hundred and a half of teny peny nails 

Nathaniel Mattoons boards, 863 feet, and one day to cart polls, 

and 2 horfes 1 day 

Jona. Janes boards, 400 feet, and 42 feet of plank 

Dea. E. Mattoon, 4 day's work at the fort, and 320 feet of 
bo ards, and 1 day's work with his oxen, 1 day's work at the 
mount, 1 day's work with his oxen to fetch in mount timber, 
and 1 day's warding for a soldier which did work at the 


Dekou Janes boards, 600 feet; one day's work carting polls 

and 4 day's work at the mount 

Jofeph Petty, 6 day's work at the fort o 15 o 

and 292 feet of boards. 070 

The Account of the materials and work at the Field fort has not 
been found. The cost of cutting and setting up the pickets around 
Mr. Doolittle's premises, was ,£4133. 

The mounts were square towers, from 14 to 20 feet high, according 
to the ground; were made of neavy timbers, framed, and boarded up, 
with the upper story or deck planked, and fitted up for a sentry. 

Col. Stoddard writes, March 27, 1724 : "Capt. Kellogg is returned, 
and I suppose hath- given you an account of his affairs. He tells me 
that he expected 4 or 5 Scautacook Indians to have been at Deerfield 
some days since, which I hear nothing of, and am prone to think 
that the Dutch have dissuaded them. It seems probable that the 
western Indians will not answer our expectations in assisting at the 
Block-house ; and inasmuch as our dependence is greatly on the 

Father Ralles War. ' 203 

scouts to be sent from there, which cannot be well managed without 
the number of men allowed, it seems necessary that the complement 
be made of English for the present ; and in case the Indians do not 
within a little time join us, undoubtedly it will be best that a number 
of good dogs be provided, which I hope may near as well answer our 
designs ; for I think it considerably probable that by means of some 
of our friend Indians they may be so instructed as that they will pur- 
sue an enemy, and in case they should kill one Indian, it will more 
effectually prevent their coming than the killing many in any other 
way : And although the Five Nations will not approve such a 
method, yet they must be silent, inasmuch as their neglect hath 
obliged us to that method. The people of Deerfield grow uneasy 
(now the spring comes on) at their having but 10 men ; and those of 
Northfield say that it will be in vain for them to pretend to manage 
any business in case their number of soldiers be not augmented. And 
I am fully of their opinion ; and if orders be not speedily given, re- 
cruits will not be had seasonably. If we are thorough in our endea- 
vors for the preservation of those in the frontiers, that will greatly 
quiet the spirits of people, and I hope be the means of the preserva- 
tion of some lives ; and probably the charge will not long continue, 
for I think there is a general disposition in the French, Dutch and 
Indians, that the present difference between us and the Eastern Indians 
should be accommodated." 

April 6, intelligence was received that Gray Lock had enticed 
away several of the Scaticooks, that had lived and hunted in the 
valley, and were so well acquainted with the situation of the meadows 
and cornfields, that they would be able to take great advantage 
against our people. 

Col. Partridge, by order of the governor, impressed 30 men, 15 
each for Deerfield and Northfield. This made 45 men at Northfield 
under Capt Kellogg, for manning the forts, watching, warding, and 
guarding the men at work in the fields. The names are nearly the same 
as were on the last year's roll. 

On or about the nth of June, Gray Lock, with a party of 11 of 
his own men set out from his fort for the frontiers. Another war 
party consisting of 30 Abenakis started immediately after ; and within 
a few days still another party of 40 Indians sung the war song, and 
made preparation to start on a raiding expedition. Col. Partridge got 
information of Gray Lock's movement on the 13th at 10 o'clock 
at night, by express from Albany, and on the 15th wrote the go- 
vernor : " we have no soldiers but those belonging to the towns, and 

204 History of Northfield. 

all of these are out upon their occasions to get their bread, and that 
with the peril of their lives, or beg their bread in a little time, but 
where I know not, if it comes to that — our dependencies are upon 
tilling the ground." 

June j 8, — about the time the governor would get the Colonel's 
letter — Gray Lock and his Indians fell upon a party of men who 
were loading hay in a meadow 3 miles north of Hatfield street, killed 
Benj. Smith, and took Aaron Wells and Joseph Allis. They also 
killed the oxen attached to the cart. Allis was killed the next day. 
A scout of 17 men was immediately organized at Hatfield, and went 
up as far as Otter Creek. 1 But Gray Lock had retired a short dis- 
tance to the west, and spent the summer in watching the settlements 
on that side of the river, at different times killing men at Deerfield, 
Northampton and Westfield. 

About the 23d of June, the party of 40 Indians came down on the 
east side of the river towards Northfield. Two days after, Lieut. 
John Pomeroy in command of a scout of Capt. Kellogg's men, dis- 
covered on the north of the Ashuelot the tracks of these Indians. 
They found some sticks broke ofF, and some bushes bent down, as if 
they were intended for a guide to others that should follow. They 
judge the signs to be very new, as the sticks were not dry, and the 
leaves hardly wilted. This party turned off to the eastward, and 
built a camp on iMiller's river, to the south of Monadnock, where 
they spent a considerable part of the summer. A scouting party, 
passing the spot the next year, found u sixteen of their spits on which 
they roast their meat : also a canoe and paddle, and some squash 
shells." * 

In this emergency Gov. Dummer appealed to the Connecticut au- 
thorities, and Gov. Saltonstall sent up Capt. Goodrich with 75 men, 
and Capt. Walter Butler with 30 men, and a company of 42 Mohegan 

'This scout had a peculiarly trying service, as appears from the following letter of Dr. 
Thomas Hastings of Hatfield. " Being desired by Serg< Clesson and Serg' Wait to inform 
what I know of their expedition in June last, to Otter Creek— the expedition being sud- 
denly formed suitable necessaries was wanting for such a long and hard journey; saw most 
of ye men when they went forth, they were lusty and in good plight, effective men : saw them 
when they returned, and they were much emaciated, and their feet so swelled and galled 
that they could scarce trivel on their feet — for some they were necessitated to hire horses : 
Someone or more applied to me to dress their feet and were under my care for a week or 
more, in bathing and emplastering before they were anything tolerably recruited. In fine, 
they underwent much, and I believe were hearty in their desires and faithful in their en- 
deavors to overtake the enemy and make reprisals. It's a pity such men undertaking such 
difficulties for y« country's cuuse should fail of a suitable reward." — Man. Archives, m, 193 

* Mass. Archives, xxxvm, A., p. no. 

Father Ralle s War. .205 

Indians, to assist in scouting. * Capt. G. and the Mohegans staid but 
a short time: Capt. Butler remained till October. The two com- 
panies of whites had head quarters at Northfield, and were billeted 
on the families. 

In a letter to Gov. Dummer, dated July 14, Col. Partridge writes : 
" We are confident the enemy is lurking about, waiting to shed blood 
so that we being in the midst of our harvest are forced to go thirty or 
forty men in a day with their arms, and with a guard to accompany 
and work together." 

The vigilance of Capt. Dwight at Fort Dummer ; the activity and 
tact of Capt. Kellogg, and the presence of the Connecticut troops pre- 
served Northiield from attack, through the summer months. And 
though laboring at great disadvantage, a fair amount of ground was 
put in tillage, and a heavy crop of corn made. 

The employment of Indian scouts was attended with some peculiar 
difficulties. It was not easy for our men to distinguish between 
friend and foe when they met them ; and no foresight could prevent 
serious mistakes. When the Scaticook Indians came to the valley 
on their hunting excursions, it was customary for them to adopt some 
signal — as the wearing of a green bough on the head — and inform 
the commanding officers of the towns what it was, who would give 
the necessary instructions to their men. July 27, Col. Partridge was 
notified that 30 Pequodsare on the road from Connecticut whom he is 
to forward to Col. Tyng at Dunstable. "They must have some signal, 
which must also be known to our people, to prevent any evil that 
might otherwise happen." Referring to the difficulty in the case, 
Col. P. writes, "I have always directed all parties scouting from our 
parts of Hampshire Co. to observe your directions : but shall find it 
impracticable for them to be always safe. They may hide and seek 
as the Indians do, and your Indians will not always have the green 
bough upon their heads, sleeping as well as waking -, and the sign may 
be stolen and used by the enemy as a decoy, and thus our men de- 
ceived to their hurt." 

Death of Father Ralle. — An expedition against Norridge- 
wock, the head-quarters of Ralle, was fitted out, about the middle of 
August. Captains Moulton, Harmon, Bourn and Bane, with 208 
men, ascended the river Kennebec, reached N. on the 23d, took the 
Indian village by surprise, and killed a large number, among whom 
••was Father Ralle. " He was slain in fight making actual resistance 

1 Matt. Archives^ w, IO. 

206 History of Northfield. 

to the forces, and attempting to kill an English captive in his hands, 
and refusing to give or take quarter." * 

After the drawing ofFof the Connecticut men, Col. Stoddard added 6 
men to Capt. Kellogg's Co. atNorthfield, " to improve them in guard- 
ing our people in their distant fields, otherwise several people would 
have lost most of their corn and other fruits." 

Oct. 7. Capt. Kellogg writes : " Lt. Pomeroy is with me at North- 
field. * * 'Tis difficult keeping a scout out constantly by reason of 
guarding y e people who are now busy getting in y e harvest. I have 
a scout out now, ordered to go above 40 miles upy e Great River, and 
from there to the eastward to Great Monadnock." 

'* Oct. 10, 1724. 
" The Gov r . of Canada having, as he has threatened, drawn many remote 
nations, viz. the Hurons and others with whom we have never had the lead 
concern into a confederacy with the eaftern Indians, * * Our weftern front- 
iers have been more annoyed this laft fummer than the eaftern. Almoft every 
town in the Co. of Hampfhire and half in Middlefex being driven into garri- 
fons, and much diftreffed by this new enemy ; and although we have had great 
advantages over y e eaftern Indians by fuch a daughter of them at Norridgewocic 
as has not been known in any of y e late wars, yet by this junction of the weft- 
ern tribes the enemy is become more formidable than before. And the fcrvice 
in the war, and the charges for the fupport of it are fo heavy as to greatly im- 
poverifh the whole Province, and drive away many of our inhabitants to the 
neighboring Colonics, all which, (Conn, and N. H. excepted,) being in perfect 
peace and profperity themfelves fit ftill and fee us languifhing under all the ca- 
lamities of war without affordirg us the fuccor of either men or money." - 

"Northampton, Oct. 12, 1724. 
" I received the enclofed letters by an exprefs laft Wednefday ; Our people 
are pretty much alarmed therewith: I am ready to imagine that it is Cattanaw- 
let's fon who is coufin to Gray Lock, that hath either made or aggravated the 
ftory of the tracks to affright the Indians and prevent their bringing in the letter, 
prefuming it was on account of Gray Lock's being out: but I dare not men- 
tion fuch a thing to our people left it fhould make them too fecure. This 
Cattanawlet is a French Indian, and was in Deerfield meadow when our people 
were wounded : from there he ran over to Scautacook, there married a fquaw, 
and is fuffL-red to dwell there." 
To Gov. Dummer. John Stoddard. 

Gray Lock returned to Missisquoi early in November. And 
about the same time Col. Partridge writes : " I think there will be 

1 Man. Arch'fuciy lii, 317. 

a Man. Arthivtt, ui, 58, Letter to Mass. agents in London. 

Father Ra lie's War. 207 

no danger of attacks from the enemy till the latter end of Jan. or 
Feb. when they can come on snow-shoes." To meet such an emer- 
gency, the governor ordered companies of snow-shoe men to be or- 
ganized in every town. Northfield had a Company of 24 men, each of 
whom had to provide himself snow-shoes and moccasins, for which 
the government allowed 10 shillings. 

Nov. 30. Capt. Kellogg being relieved from the duty of guarding 
the farmers, commenced sending out scouting parties to the north- 
ward. In his Journal he says : 

" The firft fcout on Nov. 30, 1724, went up on y e weft fide of Conn. 
River, and eroding y e Weft river went up to y 8 Great Falls, and returned, 
making no difcovery of any enemy." " The fecond fcout went up to Weft 
river, and followed up i a river 6 miles, and then eroded the woods to y e Great 
Falls, and returned, feeing no new figns of y a enemy." " The third fcout 
went *weft from Northfield about 1 2 miles, then northward eroding Weft river, 
and (leering eaftcame to the canoe place about 16 or 17 miles above Northfield." 
" The fourth ftruclc out north-weft about 6 miles, then north acrofs Weft river 
and fo to the Greac Meadow, below y e Great Falls, then eroded the Conn, 
river and came down on the eaft fide. This meadow is about 32 miles from 
Northfield." "The fifth, the men were fent up Weft river Mountain there 
to lodge on the top and view morning and evening for fmoaks, and from there 
up to y e Mountain at y 8 Great Falls, and there also to lodge on y e top, and 
view morning and evening for fmoaks." " The fixth went up to Weft river, 
which they followed 5 miles, then north till they come upon Sexton': river fix 
miles from the mouth of it, which empties itfclf at y° foot ofy e Great Falls, 
and then they came down to the mouth of it, and fo returned." " In addition, 
we watch and ward 3 forts at Northfield continually, befides what thofe 10 
men do at Deerfield, and y e people are uncafy that wc have no more men to 
keep y e forts than we have." 1 

This Journal, kept with soldier-like precision, reads like the most 
ordinary matter of fact affair, deserving no special attention and no 
commendation, except as evidence of a faithful discharge of duty. 
But the labors it recorded, and the daring and endurance of these 
handfulsofmen, thus striking offinto the wild forest in the winter, ford- 
ing bridgeless streams, and climbing mountains slippery with ice and 
blocked up with snow, watching for the curling smokes from the 
red man's camp-fire and listening for the report of his gun, were a 
most exciting romance, if they had not been a terrible reality. By 
¥ such vigilance, and fidelity, and wear of soul and body, was our vil- 
lage protected, and our valley kept clean of blood. 

1 Mau. Archivti, xxxvm, A. 70. 


History of Northfield. 

The names of the men who performed this service are worthy of 

record in the Northfield annals, and are as follows : 


Jona. Warriner 

Capt. Jos. Kellogg 
Lt. John Pomeroy 
Serg'. Jofiah Stebbins 
" Waitftill Strong 
Corp. Japhet Chapin 
" Jam^s Stevenfon 
Benoni Wright 
Benj. Brooks 
Jofhua Wells 
T amcs Corfe 
Eldad Wright 
David Smith 
Ebenezer Smith 

John King 
Ebenezer Williams 
Samuel Bodurtha 
David King 
Orlando Bridgman 
Samuel Vining 
Shcm Chapin 
Jofeph Burt 
Abraham Elgar 
Scephen Bclding 
Jona. Bclding 
Hezekiah Stratton 
Nathaniel Hawks 

Jofeph Merchant 
John Sergeant 
Thomas Sargent 
Benj. Bodurtha 
James Porter 
Eleazar Mattoon 
Edmund Grandee 
Hezekiah Elmer 
Afahel Stebbins 
Benjamin Miller 
Daniel Shattuck 
Enoch Hall 

1725. Some one, probably Capt. Benj. Wright, proposed at this 
date (Jan. 1725) to organize a large scout and go directly to Gray 
Lock's fort, and attempt to destroy him and his clan outright. But 
Col. Stoddard objected. Commissioners had been sent by Massachu- 
setts and New Hampshire to Gov. Vaudreuil to try diplomacy with 
the French authorities : and the Colonel was afraid that such an ex- 
pedition would prejudice their work. He writes, Feb. 3 : 

" I retain my former opinion, if our peopl: had gone to Gray Lock's fort 
(which lyeth upon a fmall river that cmpticth itfelf into the Lake near the 
further end of it) and had made fpoil upon the Indians, thofe that efcaped 
would in their rage meditate revenge upon our commiifioners, either in going 
to or returning from Canada. But an expedition thither in the fpring about 
the time of their planting corn, may not be attended with the like inconveni- 
ence : Altho' [ think that ordinarily we are in lefs danger in the winter and 
more likely to be succcuTul, yet it feems at prefent that a long march will be 
impracticable, becaufe that the feafon (of Jate) hath been fo moderate that fome 
of the rivers are open and fome are frozen, that travelling is rendered very 
difficult. ' 

" Lieut. Pomeroy hath acquainted me that about 30 of Capt. Kellogg's beft 
foldiers offer to go out this winter or early in the fpring. There are likewife 
fome of Deerfield men to manifeit their' defire to go out with a fmall party in 
the fpring, and to lie on fome rivers in which the Indians frequently pafs, as 
our people do in the roads. They fay there arc 8 men at Deerfield, feveral of 
whom are men of eftate and have been prifoners with the Indians and know 
their manners. They propofe to add fome others from the lower towns, but 
would not have the number exceed 20. 

Father Ralles War. 209 

Parties mould be raifed to go to the upper part of St. Francis river where 
thefe Indians plant their corn, or towards the head of Conn, river where they 
hunt, or to Ammonoofuck which is the common road from St. Francis to 
Ammerifcoggan, and fo to the Eaftern country, or to Gray Lock's fort, or 
poffibly to all of thefe." 

Feb. 8, the governor writes in reply, agreeing to the proposal to 
send 20 men from Deerfield to waylay the Indians, and adds, " The 
Council have voted that they be allowed half a crown a day each man, 
(they to find themselves with provisions) during the time of their 
being out upon actual service, and the time necessary for fitting them- 
selves out, and that they be entitled to the same rewards for scalps 
and prisoners as the volunteers, viz. <£ioo." 

In carrying out this plan, Capt. Thomas Wells of Deerfield, with 
a party from Deerfield, Hatfield and Northampton, started in the 
latter part of March, to range the country to the northward. They 
were absent about a month. But the Journal of the scout has not 
been discovered. On their return, April 24, a canoe with 6 of the 
men was overset in the Connecticut, at the falls a little below the 
mouth of Miller's river, and Simeon Pomeroy, Thomas Alexander 
and Noah Allyn were drowned, and James Porter, Lt. Joseph Clesson 
and Samuel Hannum were saved. 

Immediately on the return of this ranging party the Indians left 
their winter quarters, and came down to watch and worry the frontiers. 
Capt. Dwight reorganized his company at Fort Dummer, with how- 
ever, small changes in his men. Daniel Dwight of Northampton was 
his chaplain ; Robert Cooper and Benoni Wright were sergeants ; 
Samuel Burr, Jona. Janes, Daniel Severance of Northfield continued 
in service. Capt. Kellogg was ordered to retain his command at 
Northfield. There were added to his company, Sergt. Zechariah 
Field, Corp. Isaac Mattoon, John Brown, Ebenezer Petty, John 
Bemem, Elias Alexander, William Holton, Azariah Wright, Joseph 
Alexander, Joseph Alexander Jr., Nathaniel Mattoon, Benoni Moore, 
Isaac Warner, Remembrance Wright, John Evens, Benj. Wright 
Jr., Daniel Wright, Ebenezer Webb, then or afterwards of North- 
field ; Thomas Hastings, surgeon, Josiah Scott, of Hatfield j William 
Nelson, Eben r . Wells, William Markham, Joseph Dorchester, Archi- 
bald Talford, of Springfield ; George Bates, of Hadley ; Ezekiel 
Bascom, Joshua Lyman, Samuel Lancton, Nathan Lyman, of North- 
ampton ; Elijah Gillett, Jona. Pierce, Nathaniel Pierce, of Enfield ; 
Matthew Cobley, Thomas Austin, of Suffield ; Samuel Allen, John 
Beaman, Joseph Atherton, John Catlin, of Deerfield ; Joseph Perry, 

2 1 o History of Northfield. 

of Brookfield ; Isaac Sackett, of Westfield ; Simon Culver, of Ston- 
ington ; in all 67 men. The total amount for pay and subsistence of 
this company from May 19 to Nov. 16, was «£i 139 4*. $d. The 
Posts sent on his Majesty's service, in the course of the campaign 
were as follows: Isaac Mattoon and horse to Deerfield, 13 miles; 
Daniel Wright and horse to Fort Dummer, 10 miles ; Enoch Hall 
and horse to Hatfield, 27 miles ; Ens. Zech. Field and horse, to do. ; 
Rem. Wright and horse, to do. ; Rem. Wright and horse to Fort 
Dummer, twice, and Hez. Stratton and horse, to do. once ; Rem. 
Wright and horse, to Deerfield, Joseph Perry and horse, and Japhet 
Chapin and horse, to do. 

Capt. John Lovewell's expeditions, this spring, and his battle with 
Paugus at Fryeburg May. 8, are among the most noted events of this 
war ; but their recital does not come within the province of this work. 

Not satisfied with the results of Capt. Wells's expedition, Gov. 
Dummer made a proposition to Capt. Benj. Wright, to raise and 
command a party of rangers. Capt. Wright's answer is dated May 
29. He says, " I am willing to go and do what I can, but the under- 
taking being so difficult, and the setting out so chargeable, that the 
men cant possibly go upon the encouragement offered ; but if there 
was suitable encouragement, the men would go. (But the unhappy 
loss of men in the last expedition by the mismanagement of the offi- 
cers has very much dispirited people young and old). It seems to 
me the most probable place to be attained, and the most serviceable 
when done, is Meseesquick, Gray Lock's fort. * *" 

The governor sent an encouraging letter in reply to this, and a 
warrant for the enlistment of 60 or 70 men. 

The captain's anticipations of difficulties and delays were fully 
realized. The air was full of alarms. Reports constantly came in 
of war parties of Indians numbering 30 and 40, ready to start, or 
actually out on their evil designs. In most of the towns the militia 
were ordered out, or required to be in readiness for orders. By enlist- 
ments in the river towns, and the impressment of seme able bodied 
men from the companies stationed at Northfield and Fort Dummer, 
Capt. Wright made up his number to 59, and at the end of two 
months was ready to start. 

" A true Journal of our march from N-field to Mefixcouk bay under y 8 com- 
mand of Benj. Wright Captain, begun July 27, A.D. 1725. 

July 27. it rained in y e forenoon : about 2 oclock in y e afternoon I fet 
out from N-field, being 59 of us, and we came y* night to Pomeroy's Ifland, 
5 miles above N-field. 

28. We fet off from Pomeroy's Ifland and came to Fort Dummer, and there 

Father Ralles War. 2 1 1 

we mended our canoes, and went y' night to Hawley's Ifland, 5 miles above 
Fort Dummer. 

29. We departed from Hawley's Ifland, and came to a meadow 2 miles 
fhort of y 9 Great Falls. 

30. We fet off" from y' meadow and came to y e Great Falls, and carried 
our canoes acrofs, and from there we went jo miles. 

3 1 From there we fet off and came within 3 miles of Black river 1 7 miles. 
Aug. 1. We came to y e fecond Falls, 15 miles. 

2. We fet off from here and came to y e upper end of White river Falls, 
13^ miles. 

3. From y e upper end of White river Falls to Paddle Ifland, 13 miles. 

4. Foul weather and we camped on Paddle Ifland all day. 

5. From Paddle Ifland we went 13 miles, & encamped. 

6. From thence we came to y° third meadow at Cowafs 20 miles y' day. 

7. From thence we came to Wells river mouth, 15 m. 

8. We encamped here and hid our proviflons and canoes, it being foul 
weather y l day. 

9. Foul weather in y e forenoon. In y a after part of y e day we marched 
from y e mouth of Wells river 5 miles. 

10. This day we marched weft and by north 10 miles. 

1 1. We marched to y e upper end of y 8 fecond Pond at y e head of Wells river 
upon a northweft courfe ten miles. About noon this day we came to y° firft 
Pond 5 miles, and y n we turned round north weft and travelled 5 miles 
further in very bad woods. 

» 2. We marched from y 8 upper end of y° upper Pond 3 miles in very bad 
woods, and here encamped, by reafon of foul weather: here David Allen was 
taken fick. 

13. We lay by to fee if Allen would be able to travel. 

1 4. We marched from y° upper, end of y 8 fecond Pond north and by weft to 
French river 9 miles ; we croffed the French river and travelled 1 J m. 

15. Here we encamped all day by realbn of foul weather. This day Clerk 
Hubbard being very lame was fent back and two men with him to y° fort at 
y a mouth of Wells river. 

16. We marched from our camp 3 miles and came to a branch of y° French 
river, from thence we marched 6 miles and came to a beaver pond out of which 
runs another branch of y° faid river, from there we travelled 6 miles and came 
upon another branch, where we camped, our courfe being W. N. W. / 

17. We marched from faid branch 13 miles and crofled a vaft mountain 
and there we camped y l night. 

18. We marched from our camp a little, and came to a fourth branch of 
French river and we travelled down f 1 branch 6 miles and then (truck over y a 
mountain 6 miles further and there we camped. Our courfe W. N. W. 12 

19. We marched from here W. N. W. to the top of a vaft high mountain 
which we called mount Difcovery, where we had a fair profped of y° Lake : 

2 1 2 History of Northfield. 

4 miles from whence we went down i" a mountain 2 miles on a N. courfe, and 
then travelled 6 miles N- W. on a brook; here arofe a ftorm which caufed 
us to take up our lodging fomcthing before night. 

20. We followed f' 1 brook N. N. W. 9 miles, and then y e brook turned N. 
and we travelled over it 9 miles further and the brook increafed to a confider- 
able river. 

21. We marched 6 miles N. and then came to where y e river emptied iifelf 
into another large river coming out from y c eaft fomewhat northerly : we 
travelled down l' d river W. 7 miles, y n y c river turned S. and we marched 
down 7 miles further, and then we encamped at y° foot of y° Falls. 

22. Here we lay (till by reafon of rain. 

23. Now I gave liberty to fome y' they might return home, by reafon of 
our provifions was almoll fpent ; and there appeared 41 : the Capt., Lieut, and 
Enfign with 12 men marched over y e river at y c foot of y e Falls, and marched 
6 miles S. S. W. and 3 miles W. and y n came to y e Lake and marched 6 
miles down upon y c Lake and this N. W : and y e north-weft end of y° Lake 
or bay being at a great diftance, then we turned homeward without making any 
difcovcry here of any enemy. 

Au?. 25. We fet off from y e Lake to return home, and came to y c mouth 
of Wells river in 5 days and a half. Here we difcovered 3 Indians, who had 
juft waded over y e River juft below y e fort, which we took to be our own men 
by reafon y* y c two Indians which were with us and one man more fet away 
early in y c morning to hunt : but it proved upon examination y l they were 
enemies, but it was too late, for they were moved ofF. 

Aug. 29. We fet off from y e fort at y e mouth of Wells river, and came into 
Northfield Sept. 2, at night. I have given y r Honor a true Journal of our 
march, and fubmit y e whole to y r Honor's cenfure, and am Your Honor's 
molt humble and ob l fervant to command. Benj'n Wricht. 1 " 

The burden of war which bore heaviest on Northfield this year, 
was the absence of so many of her best men in the service as rangers, 
or at Fort Dummer, or on Capt. Kellogg's scouts, which he kept 
out continually. 

Aug. 27, Col. Partridge writes : " The English harvest is mostly 
in without disturbance. * * Four of our men going out for cattle 
between Deerfield and Northfield, discovered a party of the enemy 
who had killed a mare and a colt. Our men made a shot upon them 
and they upon our men, and wounded one of ours it's thought dan- 
gerously. It's certain they are near our borders and are about to fall 
upon our towns, and will do great damage by burning our barns, etc." 
He immediately receives orders " to dispatch a company of 40 or 50 
men, horse or foot at y r discretion, to scout y' borders for a week or 
10 days." It was afterwards ascertained that this marauding party 

1 Mast. Arthivti, xxxvui, A. 1 11. 

Father Ralle's War. 213 

was a detachment from a band of 150 hostile Indians which left the 
Canadian border, under command of Gray Lock, about the 1 8th of 
August, for the purpose partly of watching Capt. Wright, and partly 
to do mischief to the towns, whose efficient defences were weakened 
by the absence of Wright's men. 1 

On the return of Capt. Wright, Col. Stoddard recommended that 
he and his men be retained in pay, and used in ranging the woods for 
the present. Sept. 13, Gov. Dummer sent Capt. Wright X300, 
which was about half of what was due on his pay-roll, with direc- 
tions to make a fair distribution of it among his officers and men. 
And he is ordered to prepare to start upon another scout, by such 
route as he thinks best — " Having a good opinion of your courage ; 
also have the rather chosen that you should go out again, that so you 
may be in the way to retrieve y r former error in letting those 3 In- 
dians escape." 

Capt. Wright at once set about raising another company of rangers. 
Fifteen of Capt. Kellogg's men, and 10 of Capt. Dwight's men at 
Fort Dummer enlisted ; and he went to Northampton to secure a 
full quota. While he was there, Sept. 1 1, a scout of 6 men was sent 
out from Fort Dummer by Capt. Dwight, and when 6 or 8 miles 
west of North river, while eating lunch about 2 o'clock, they dis- 
covered some Indians on their track, within 8 rods of them. They 
jumped up and ran 7 or 8 rods, when the Indians made a shot upon 
them, and they turned and shot upon the Indians. Two of the lat- 
ter were seen to fall, when the soldiers scattered. Thomas Bodurtha 
of Springfield and John Pease of Enfield were killed ; Edward Baker 
of Suffield, John Farrar of Ashford, Nathaniel Chamberlain of Hat- 
field were taken ; Anthony Wiersbury only escaped and returned to 
the fort. — "The same day, near sunset, Capt. Thomas Wells being 
in his great pasture, heard crackling of sticks and saw the bushes 
move, within a few rods of him, and being apprehensive of an enemy 
near, he ran home and took sundry sturdy men who went to the 
place, where they found the tracks of 2 Indians, and followed them 
through two pieces of corn." These alarms drew Capt. Wright to 
Deerfield, and hindered the preparation of his expedition. He also 
found enlistments slow ; and had great difficulty in getting the re- 
quisite amount of suitable stores for his march. The people on the 
frontiers appear to have become discouraged and reckless. Col. 
Stoddard writes : " If Capt. Wright could go immediately with 50 
men to Otter Creek he might intercept some of those parties ; but 
there are no public stores here, and rhey cannot be got ready season- 

1 Matt. Archivti) hi, 265. 

214 History of Nortbfield. 

ably." In another letter he says : " The oeople in these towns can't 
be careful many days together : upon the receipt of y r Honor's last 
express, I protested to the officers against our careless way of living, 
and used all the arguments I was capable of to persuade them to 
order a watch that might be of some significancy in case of the ap- 
proach of the enemy, but to very little purpose. Most of the people 
live in secure places [garrisons] in the towns, and depend on being 
alarmed [by scouts] before they are in danger themselves." 

Oct. 8 or 9, Capt. Wright started on his second scout. But 
some of his men went with great reluctancy ; they were poorly 
equipped for the approaching cold weather ; jealousies were springing 
up between the different captains, which infected the under officers 
and men ; and the belief was gaining ground that the war was sub- 
stantially over. So far as is known, nothing notable came of the ex- 
pedition. _ 

The state of things in the valley may be inferred from a letter 
written by Col. Stoddard, Oct. 17. 

" Capt. Dwight meets with great difficult)' for want of ftores for his foldiers 
at Fort Dummer, and if they can't be fupplied fpeedily they will be ready to 
perifh in that cold place, where they can't get blankets to lodge in. They need 
fhirts alfo and other things, which he cannot allow every man to feelc for him 
felf at 40 miles diftanc. I have advifed him to fend a pack-horfe to Bollon, 
and hope the Trcaiurer will be ordered to fupply what is wanting." 

The death of Gov. Vaudreuil, Oct. 25, broke the mainspring of 
Indian hostilities. The Father Superior La Chasse and his Jesuits 
exerted all their powers to prevent a peace ; but the Indians became 
tired of the conflict ; they were losing in numbers, and being kept 
from hunting and trapping, were becoming poorer. The profit of 
the war went into the coffers of the French. 

After much time spent in negociations, a treaty of peace with the 
eastern Indians was signed at Boston Dec. 15, 1725. It was rati- 
fied at Falmouth, Aug. 5, 1726. • 

This did not necessarily bind the western Indians. Gray Lock 
refused to join in it. Sometime in 1726, he gathered a hostile party 
about Otter Creek, with a design to fall on our towns. But the keep- 
ing up of a military force at Fort Dummer, and the known energy of 
Capt. Kellogg, added to the moral depression resulting from the 
peace movement, kept him at home. In the fall (1726) instructions 
were sent to the commissioners at Albany, to endeavor to draw him 
over by presents and good will. Jan. 2, 1727, the commissioners 
sent a message to Gray Lock by his brother Malalamet, inviting him 

Father Ralles War. -215 

to come to Albany ; but the message missed him. They then suggest 
that a suitable belt be forwarded to them to send to him ; and that 
he be invited to Albany to receive it, as " he will hardly be persuaded 
to come into your country, for he has done so much mischief on your , 
frontiers, that he doubtless has a guilty conscience. (?) But we fear the 
French priests and their governor will if possible overset all available 
measures that may be set on foot to confirm a lasting peace." l 

But peace was established, and proved to be lasting. The Con- 
necticut valley had rest for eighteen years. 

Capt. Dwight held the command at Fort Dummer till near the 
close of 1726 ; when it was transferred to Capt. Kellogg, who con- 
tinued in service here till June 20, 1740. 

To show the exhaustive nature of this war, it may be stated that 
not less than one-seventh of the effective men of Northfield were 
constantly in garrison or in the field, from the spring of 1723 till the 
spring of 1726. 

1 Mass. Archives, m, 340. 


Interval of Peace. 1726- 1744. 

Companies disbanded — Indians come to trade — Truck-house — First 
Province Tax — Orchards — Capt. Kellogg at Fort Dummer — Open- 
ing the Meadows — Estates in 1729 — How called to Meeting — 
Division of Commons — Choice Lots — Wanting Lands — Sequestered 
Lands — Special Grants — School — Town Representative — Four new 
Townships above Northfield — Building above the Ashuelot — Mr. 
Doolittle's Troubles — The new Province Line — Shattuck's Fort — 
Sartwell's — Bridcman's — Hinsdell's — Industries. 

'HE sudden transitions from peace to war, and from war to 
peace, are a marked feature of frontier life. The leaders 
on both sides forecast the future, and form plans, more 
or less definite, in anticipation of events. But the com- 
mon people, both whites and savages, go on in accustomed ways, 
till the strife actually opens ; and when the hatchet is buried, as 
readily resume former occupations, and reinstate all the relations of 
peace. If revenges are cherished, they are prudently concealed, and 
the opportunity patiently waited. 

In the fall of 1726, the military company at Northfield was dis- 
missed, and in the winter Capt. Dwight's company at Fort Dummer 
was discharged ; and Capt. Kellogg was ordered to recruit a small 
company for garrison duty at the Fort. 

1727. June 19, Col. Partridge writes: "I thought it mete to in- 
form y r Honor that considerable numbers of Indians from their hunt- 
ing come in at Deerfield and Northfield, and the English trade with 
them ; and it is said that some of our men go out and carry them 
strong liquor and make the Indians drunk and get their furs for a 
small matter, so that when they get out of their drink, and see that 
their furs are gone, they are mad, and care not what mischief they do : 
a ready way to bring on outrages and murders, if not the war again. 
I humbly am of opinion that it is needful either to prohibit trading 
with them, or to regulate their trading as y r Honor may judge mete. 
We have some disorderly men, in particular one Daniel Severance, 
that declares openly he will kill y e Indian that scalped his father. I 
have given him warning that if he should do such a thing in time of 
peace he must come upon trial for his life." 

Interval of Peace. 217 

Truck-house. — In accordance with the su<2;£estion made in the 
letter, above quoted, and on recommendation of Capt. Kellogg, 
who during his captivity in Canada had learned the manner in which 
the trade in peltry was conducted between the French and Indians, 
a trading post was eatablished at Fort Dummer in 1728 ; and thence- 
forth for many years it served the double purpose of a garrison and 
truck-house. Capt. Kellogg was continued in command till 1740. 
He received =£4 per month as captain and Xioo per annum as truck 
master. His force varied from 9 to 20 men ; and from '34 to '44, 
six Indian commissioners were stationed here. Rev. Eben r . Hins- 
dell was chaplain at the post till 1743. Many Northfield men were 
connected with this garrison for a longer or shorter period. John 
Sergeant was second in command ; Orlando Bridgman third officer, 
and Joshua Lyman fourth officer. Samuel Burr, Daniel Severance, 
Elias Alexander, Joseph Alexander, John Alexander, Philip Alexan- 
der, Aaron Alexander, Benjamin Knight, John Mun, Seth Field, 
Samuel Root, Eben r Stratton, were in service at different times. The 
pay of a common soldier was 40 shillings per month. 

Province Tax. — Previous to 1727, no Province tax had been 
assessed on Northfield, and the town had received no share of the 
Bills of Credit issued by order of the General Court. This 
year the town was required to pay such tax, and received as her 
share of the sixty thousand pounds Bills of Credit, issued in 1728, 
ninety-four pounds. This money, when delivered to the town trea- 
surer, was loaned in various sums, to individuals, for the term of 10 
years, the borrower paying 6 per cent per annum interest, 2 per cent 
of which went to the town and 4 per cent to the Province treasury. 

Orchards. — Apple trees were planted during the Second Settle- 
ment, and were in full bearing in 1723. In 1728, Lieut. Eliezur 
Wright set out an apple orchard. Rev. Mr. Doolittle was planting 
an orchard in 1736. 

Opening the Meadows.— A town meeting was called each 
year, about the 25th of September, to determine the rime when the 
meadows and common fields should be opened for the pasturing of 
stock, and previous to which the corn crop must be gathered. Pau- 
chaug was sometimes opened as early as Sept. 25, though not usually 
till Oct. 1. Great meadow was commonly opened about Oct. 10, 
and. Bennett's meadow near the same date. 


History of North/field. 

1729. A Rate, for defraying y e town and county charges, levied on the Polls 

and Real and Pcrjcnal Ejlates, in Northfield, Feb. 12, 
Poll, £0 y. gd. 

729. Tax on the 
















s. d. 

Capt. Benj. Wright, 



Benoni Moore, 


* 5 

Hez. Stratton, 




Daniel Wright, 


3 10 

Benuni Wright, 



Elie'r Wright Jr., 


« 5 

Hez. Elmer, 




Zechariah Field, 


'5 9 

Isaac Mattoon, 




Steph. Belding, 


n 3 

Isaac Warner, 




Joseph Burt, 


2 6 

Benj. Miller, 




Enoch Hall, 



Thcoph. Meiriman's heirs, 


John Bement, 



Lt. Eliezur Wright, 




Wm. Wright, 


3 6 

Nehemiah Wright, 



Eben'r Alexander, •» 


6 10 

Rememb. Wright, 




Joseph Stebbins, 


6 1 

William Holton, 




[os. Merchant, 



Samuel Smith, 



Nath'l Dickinson, 


5 6 

Nath'l Mattoon, 




Abra'm Elgar, 


1 1 

Jonathan Janes, 




Mary Patterson, 

a 3 

Eleazar Holton, 




Asahel Stebbins, 



Peter Evens, 




John Stoddard, 

3 9 

John Brown, 



Joseph Petty, 


8 4 

Jona. Belding, 




Thos. Helton's heirs, 

3 4 

Elea'r Mattoon, 




Robert Cooper, 


5 8 

Azariah Wright, 




Thos. Taylor's heirs 

3 9 

Eben'r Field's heirs, 



Jona. Hunt, 

12 7 

Jos. Alexander, 




Ebenezer Webb, 


Dan'l Shattuclc, 




Israel Warner, 


Amount or" Poll tax, £966; Estate tax, £12 14 10 ; Total, £22 1 4. 
to defray town charges, the balance was a county tax. 

£17 162 was 

How called to Meeting. — During the war men went to meet- 
ing on the Sabbath, as they went to their daily labor, fully armed. 
And at the return of peace, warlike associations were so intimately 
connected with all public assemblies, that the town voted to call the 
inhabitants to meeting for public worship on the Lord's day, by beating 
the drum. Eleazar Holton was appointed for this duty, and was paid 
£1 10 per annum. Ensign Field was paid 3 shillings, for the use of 
his drum. He was also paid £1 10 for sweeping the meeting-house. 
In 1734, the drum beat was discontinued, and the town employed a 
man to sweep the meeting-house, and u hang out a flagg," paying 
therefor £2 10. The people were called together in this way for the 
next ten years, and perhaps longer. In 1744, Daniel Wright was 
paid £1 5 for hanging out the flag ; and Jona. Janes received £2 10 
for sweeping the meeting house. 

Interval of Peace. 219 

1 73 1. This year, for the first time, the town voted to send a re- 
presentative to the General Court ; but for some reason failed of 
making an election, as they did for the succeeding five years. 

There was also an article in the warrant for the annual meeting, 
to see if the town will build a school house ; but the project failed ; 
and there is no record of any public school till 1736. 

Division of Commons. — The main business, of historical im- 
portance, transacted this year, was the division among the inhabitants 
of a large part of the lands heretofore held in common. Some of 
these lands were broken and mountainous, and of little value ; while 
others were attractive, and subsequently became family seats, and 
productive farms. 

Choice Lots. — The first meeting of the town to act upon the 
apportionment of undivided lands, was held February 11, at which 
it was voted to distribute the more desirable outlands to the inhabit- 
ants by choice, i. e. wherever each one's fancy or interest led him to 
choose, without regard to location or continuous plot. A poll tax 
drew 10 acres, and a pound in the valuation entitled an individual to 
a certain number of acres additional. A committee was appointed 
to determine the proportion of each person; from the valuation of the 
last year ; and then the choice was to proceed as follows : He who 
drew the lot marked No. 1, could take one-half the number of acres 
to which he was entitled where he liked best, the piece selected to 
be laid out by the town measurers in suitable form ; and so with the 
drawer of No. 2, and through the list. " And he that by lot shall 
have the first choice in the first half shall have the last choice in the 
second haif of the grant. And if any person shall have a mind to 
have any part of his grant in the plain below Clarke's Island, he shall 
take one acre for two, and not to exceed 20 acres for one person. 
The first choice by lor shall begin on the jst of April next ; and then 
each grant successively within two days thereafter: And if any per- 
son neglect or refuse to take his choice within the time specified, then 
the next en the list shall take his place. 

Voted, that there be a reservation made and consideration for suit- 
able highways through every man's grant, in case of need." 

Some of these Choice Lots can be identified. William Holton 
took his first choice of 81 acres at the north end of Bennett's hill, 
which eventually led to the location of the Holton family in that 
vicinity. Hezekiah Stratton chose both his lots on the plain north 
and west of Wells's meadow ; and this tract, together with 52 acres 
set ofF to him as a special grant and laid out adjoining the former, 

220 History of Northfield. 

constituted what was known as Stratton's Field. Daniel Shattuck 
took his first choice on the plain against Merry's meadow, and his 
second on Chestnut hill. These were near his lot in Merry's meadow, 
and naturally led to the building of his house and fort there. Capt. 
Benj. Wright took his first lot on the plain south of the town ad- 
joining the Committee's Farms, and his second betwixt Miller's brook 
and Saw-mill brook. Ensign Field chose one lot below the first 
Beers's mountain, and the other on the plain against and above Little 
meadow. The latter was laid out 160 rods long by 101 rods wide. 
Serg : Joseph Petty took both his lots above Second Moose plain. 
His land covered what is now the Railroad station grounds at South 
Vernon. Tho 5 Taylor's heirs chose the first 36 acres, in the meadow 
south of the Ashuelot, where a son afterwards built his house. 
Theoph. Merriman's heirs took their first choice south of the seques- 
tered land, embracing the spot where Capt. Samuel Merriman located 
some years later. Rev. Mr. Doolittle's first 70 acres was laid out 
on the north west part of Staddle hill. Dea. Eben f Alexander took 
his first choice of 47 acres near Cooper's Point. 

The First and Second Divisions of Commons. — At an ad- 
journed meeting held Feb. 18, the town voted to apportion to the in- 
habitants, the common lands lying southerly, easterly and northerly 
of the town plot. The First Division began at a place called Old 
Soldier's Hole, the line abutting against the south foot of Beers'-S 
plain, and running east 160 rods. From this as the south bound, the 
lots were laid out in succession, skipping Dry Swamp and Great 
Swamp, to the north line of the upper home-lot, when the lots were 
to be extended west 60 rods to the highway, making the remaining 
lots 220 rods, and so to continue north to Pauchaug great brook. 
East of and bounding this division, and extending its whole, length, 
was a 6 rods highway. 

The Second Division began at a line coincident with the south line 
of the First ; ran east half a mile as the other did, to a 10 rods high- 
way, and extended up north till the number of grants was filled. 
" These grants not to infringe upon any grants made before the year 
1729, with allowance for suitable highways where they are needed j 
and timber, wood, stone and herbage to be free for the benefit 
of the town for the space of seven years, and forever urless men's 
grants be fenced ; and each man to draw for the number of his lot. 

In the First Division, a poll drew 2^ acres ; in the Second, 4 acres. 
The remainder was apportioned on property according to the valua- 
tion, but by what rule is not known. 

Interval of Peace. 


The Third Division. At a meeting April 10, 1732, the town 
voted that the Third Division shall begin at a little stoney brook 
called Four mile brook, or against the Country Farms, and take in 
all the land between the 10 rods highway and the east bounds of the 
town, and extend northward above the Ashuelot river. Voted, that 
every man's grant shall lie free for the town's use, viz. for stone, 
wood and timber, until men's grants are enclosed by fence. Voted, 
that the apportionment shall be according to the following rules, viz. 
three acres upon the pound valuation, and 50 acres upon the poll. 

To show who were inhabitants at this date, and the large amount 
of outlands held by many families, the following tabulated statement 
is presented, including only the grants made at this time. Most of 
the inhabitants were already in possession of a large landed interest 
in the several meadows, plains and swamps •, and their estates were 
greatly augmented by the subsequent grants under the Fourth, Fifth 
and Sixth Divisions of Commons. 

























at: run 







Capt. Benj. Wright, 


2 2 



Eben'r Severance heirs, 


Lt. Elie'r Wright, 

,6 5 


65 1 

42 5 

John Bement, 



. 1 
5 2 


Ens. Zech. Field, 





Enoch HjII, 





Dea. Eben'r Alexander, 



37 i 

l8 S 

Samuel Smith, 

-> t 




Mr. Benj. Doolittle, 



55 : i 


Tho's Holton 's heirs, 





Dea Elea'r Mattoon, 





Benj. Miller, 


7 J 



William Holton, 



6 4 | 


Theoph. Merriman's heirs, 





Joseph Petty, 





John Brown, 





Stephen Belding, 




45 5 

Jona. Patterson's heirs, 





Jona. Belding, 



3- 1 


Eliezur Wright Jr., 




1 10 

Jos Alexander, 





Nehemiah Wright, 





Peter Evens, 





Jos. Alexander Jr., 


, 1 
3 1 



Eleazar Holton, 





Abraham Elgar, 





He*. Stratton, 

1 1 1 




Thos. Taylor's heirs, 





Isaac Warner, 





Joseph Petty Jr., 





Nath'l Mattoon, 





John Alexander, 





Isaac Mattoon, 


26 1 



Ebenezer Webb, 





Jonathan Janes, 

9 1 




Israel Warner, 





Azariah Wright, 





Asahel Stebbins's heirs, 


Daniel Shattuck, 


1 9 .1 



Benj. Wright Jr., heirs, 


Nath'l Dickinson, 





Eben'r Field's heirs, 





William Syms, 





John Beaman, 


Hezekiah Elmer, 


1 1 



Lt. Jona. Hunt, 


Remem. Wright, 


1 j 1 



William Holton Jr., 


Joseph Stebbins, 


20. 1 . 



Elias Alexander, 


Benoni Moore, 





Phinehas Wright, 


Daniel Wright, 





Daniel Brown, 


William Wright, 





Samuel Holton, 


Robert Cooper, 





John Holton, 


Joseph Burt, 





Eben'r Warner, 


Benuni Wright, 




1 10 

Benoni Wright Jr., 


222 History of Northfield. 

The proprietors of the Third Division of Commons organized as 
a body corporate Nov. 12, 1750. They chose a moderator and per- 
manent clerk, and provided for calling future meetings. Their re- 
cords have not been found. 

The proprietors of the Second Division, organized Mar. 17, 1756, 
by the choice of Nehemiah Wright moderator, and Seth Field cleric. 
" Voted, That the flank lines between each proprietor shall be ranged 
and run agreeable to the first lot in the First Division as that is ranged 
and laid out." They continued to hold meetings for many years ; 
but their records have not been found. 

An organization, called " The proprietors of common and undi- 
vided lands," was formed in 1750 or 51, and held meetings from year 
to year, as late as 1820. They took charge of all unappropriated 
and unclaimed lands. 

Many of the grantees of lots in the Third Division soon made sale 
of their lots to land speculators. Ezekiel Kellogg trader of Hadley 
bought up 2124 acres, 1 which he sold in 1734, for 22 cents per acre, 
to James Brown of Newport R. I. Jonathan Morton of Hatfield 
bought 9 lots, amounting to 1048 acres, which land was taxed to his 
heirs as late as 1797, when a part (450 a.) was sold to Timothy 

Sequestered Lands. — In 1728, by vote of the town, a lot of 50 
a. of land lying southwardly of Old Soldier's Hole, under the west 
side of the mountain, 100 rods E. and W., by 80 rods N. and S., 
was " sequestered for the use of the ministry or a school." The 
next year, the town voted that 50 a. lying N. of the present seques- 
tered land, and 50 a. lying S. of the same, " be laid out and seques- 
tered for the use of the ministry." In 1730, it was voted that 50 a. 
of " the best land to be found on Staddle hill, 100 rods N. and S., 
by 80 rods E. and W., be sequestered for the ministry or a school." 
In addition to these four lots, two small lots of town land in Bennett's 
meadow were sequestered for the use of the ministry. Most or all 
of these lands were sold, about the year 1765, to pay for the new 

Wanting Lands. — It often happened that in laying out men's 
grants, too small allowance for sag of chain would be made, or a 
bound would be selected for convenience, or a mistake would occur, 
which subsequent careful measurement would detect. In all such 

1 Stephen Belding bought his brother Jonathan's right in the Third Division, and sold the 
united lots, Sept. z6, 1733, to Ezekiel Kxllogg. 

Interval of Peace. 223 

cases the town was ready to vote the requisite number of acres to 
make up the deficiency. Some of the home-lots fell short, and were 
made up by meadow lands at the rate of several acres for one. The 
same thing happened in the choice lot's division. These grants to - 
supply deficiencies, are named in the records, wanting lands. 

Special Grants of Province Lands. — During the period 
covered by this chapter, the policy became general, of rewarding 
soldiers, who had rendered special service or been disabled in the 
Indian wars, with grants of Province land. In some cases, the 
soldiers or heirs of soldiers that were out on a perilous expedition 
were, as a body, honored by the General Court. Thus FaJls-town, 
now Bernardston, was granted to the survivors or heirs of the men 
who were in the Falls Fight under Capt. William Turner, in 1676. 
Roxbury-Canada, now Warwick, was granted to the officers and 
soldiers under Capt. Andrew Gardner, who went from Roxbury in 
the expedition to Canada in 1690. And many similar township 
grants were made. 

A brief account will be given of such grants as were set off to 
Northfield men ; or were laid out on or near our town borders. 

Nov. 1721, 500 acres of land was granted by the General Court 
to the heirs of John Paine, which was located " on Dry brook, between 
Deerfield and Northfield, beginning 20 rods west of the ford way." 

In 1728, on his petition, a tract of 200 acres near Brookfield, was 
granted to Capt. Joseph Kellogg, on account of his services as inter- 
preter, etc. 

The same year, [confirmed June 30, 1731] a grant of 200 acres 
" lying westerly of Braintry 6000 acres," was made to Capt. Benja- 
min Wright. This land lay "to the north of Brookfield. 

In 1732, a farm of 500 acres was granted to Gov. Jonathan 
Belcher, and laid out within the limits of Northfield [See ante, p. 155]. 

April 4, 1733, a plantation of the contents of 6 miles square, lying 
to the northward and eastward of Northfield, was laid out to Col. 
Josiah Willard and others. This included Gov, Belcher's farm, and 
extended from the south end of Merry's meadow \\ miles and 20 rods 
up the river; and then 8^ miles and 20 rods east; then south 6] 
miles and 52 rods, etc. This grant encroached about 3000 acres on 
Northfield territory, and was to that extent null and void ; and in 
1739, on petition of Col. Willard, an equivalent for this 3000 acres 
was granted him elsewhere. The plantation was first called Karling- 
ton, afterwards written Arlington ; and now constitutes, in part, the 
town of Winchester, N. H. 

224 History of Northfield. 

In 1733, a pl Qt or " "5° acres was l a 'd out t0 William Hack of 
Taunton, Bristol Co., "on account of his great losses in the expedi- 
tion against Canada in the year 1690. This land lay on the east side 
of, and near to the country road leading from Sunderland to North- 
field. In 1773, this grant was annexed to Northfield. In i860, it 
was set off to Erving. Near this was a small grant known as the 
" Rose Farm"; but careful search has failed to trace its history. 

In 1734, a tract of 200 acres east of Northfield and south of Mt. 
Grace, was laid out to Joseph Severance of Deerfield. 

In the same year, 300 acres of land on Swift river, was laid out to 
Nathaniel Alexander ; and 300 acres, lying on the west side of the 
Connecticut, adjoining the south bound of Northfield, to Joseph 
Clesson of Deerfield, who was a garrison soldier at the time of the 
destruction of that town in 1704. 

Jan. 12, 1736, Benoni Moor, Joseph Petty and Robert Cooper 
petitioned the General Court for a grant of land, on account of servi- 
ces in the late war ; and 600 acres of unappropriated land, lying 
easterly of the town&hip of Northfield was granted* to them, 200 acres 
to each. This tract was located near where is now the village of 

June 27, 1736, a grant of 500 acres was made by the legislature 
to the towij of Pembroke, " to enable said town to keep and main- 
tain a grammar school. '\ This was sold to Reuben and Noah Mor- 
gan, and was annexed to Northfield in 1773. 

In the same year a tract of 200 acres, abutting on the east line of 
Northfield, was granted and laid out to Samuel Field of Deerfield. 

Dec. 5, 1737, a tract of land, 185 acres, bounded north by North- 
field south line, was granted to Col. John Quincy. 

1 736. School. — The town was presented by the County Court this 
year for not having a school for the education of children, according 
to law. And at a meeting called for the purpose, it was voted "that 
the town have a school-master '" and a committee was chosen to 
build or buy or hire a school-house. At a subsequent meeting, it 
was voted " to build a school-house, and set it in tb^e street against 
Mr. Samuel Hunt's home-lot." From certain votes passed the next 
year, it appears that a part of the Province bills of credit, loaned to 
individuals in 1728, was called in, and applied to pay for the School- 
house. It was voted to raise X13 18 to pay a school-master.- 
Probably Mr. Seth Field was employed as the first teacher. 

Interval of Peace. 225 

1 73 7. Number of taxable polls in town 79 

Number of home-lots taxed ■ ^z 

" of oxen 68 

•' "horses 99 

" " cows 108 

" "sheep 225 

" " hogs 141 

Total valuation ^2044 1 2 o 

All males over 16 years paid a poll tax of is, 6d. ; and real and 
personal estate, and income of trade or faculty, were taxed id. on 
the pound. 

First Paupers in Town. — Voted, that Thomas Stoddard, wife and 
children be maintained by the town, till they are able to leave. 

First Representative. — This year Mr. John Beaman was 
chosen to represent the town in the General Court. He had no suc- 
cessor till the opening of the Revolutionary war. 

At the session of the General Court, a petition of Mr. John Bea- 
man, representative, and in behalf of the town, was presented, show- 
ing that certain parties by leave, purchased sundry large tracts of 
land of the Indian proprietors, wherein Noithfield is included and is 
part ; that the Indians have lately acknowledged the purchase to be 
good ; and the General Court has made sundry grants of land within 
said purchase, which are quietly held ; that there is a tract of land 
lying between Northfield south bounds and Miller's river, and another 
tract between Northfield and Arlington, part of said purchase; and 
praying that the said town may obtain a grant thereof, for the reasons 

Read, and passed in the negative. 

A new Truck-House. — Jan. 21, 1737. footed by the House of 
Representatives, that when 20 families are settled in the two upper 
towns (No. 1. on the west side, and No. 4. on the east side of the 
river) and a corn and saw-mill are put up in said towns or either of 
them, the Truck-house above Northfield shall be removed and placed 
on the west side near the Black river, so called. 

Concurred by the Council, Jan. 22, 1737. 

New Townships above Northfield. — At this date Massachu- 
setts held by undisputed right, the territory as far north as the present 

226 History of Northfield, 

south line of Westmoreland N. H., and claimed a good title to the 
country about 30 miles further to the northward, and to the east as 
far as the Merrimack river. On petition of divers parties, living in 
different sections of the Province, who were desirous of securing the 
rich meadow lands in that region, the General Court, Jan. 15, 1736, 
voted, "That it is expedient to lay out four townships on the east side 
of the Connecticut river above Northfield, said townships to be of 
the contents of 6 miles square, and not to extend more than 6 miles 
from the river." A committee of eleven persons was appointed, who 
proceeded to lay out these townships ; and in September notified the 
petitioners to meet at Concord Mass. A large number attended the 
meeting, of whom 60 complied with the conditions prescribed, and 
were admitted as grantees. 

The south bound of township No. I. was placed at a point on the 
river, 4 J- miles and 20 rods north of the southerly end of Merry's 
meadow (which would be near the present dividing line between Hins- 
dale and Chesterfield). The north bound of No. 4. was in the upper 
part of the present town of Charlescown N. H. The plot of these 
townships, known by the numbers, 1, 2, 3 and 4, was accepted by 
the General Court Nov. 30, 1736 ; and Dec. 13, the following per- 
sons were appointed and empowered to call the first meeting of the 
several proprietors for organization, viz. Samuel Chamberlain of 
Westford for No. I. ; Nathaniel Harris of Watertown for No. 2. ; 
John Flint of Concord for No. 3. ; Thomas Wells of Deerfield for 
No. 4. 

At the same session of the Court, two townships were laid out on 
the west side of the river, " between the Equivalent Land and the 
Great Falls." Joseph Tisdale of Taunton was empowered to call 
the first meeting of the proprietors of No. 1 ; and Palmer Goulding 
of Worcester to call together the proprietors of No. 2. [The grants 
lying on the east side of the river were numbered going up stream ; 
those on the west side were numbered coming down stream.] 

Building North of the Great Bend. The laying out of 
these new plantations, and the simultaneous beginning of settle- 
ments at Upper Ashuelot (Kcene), and Arlington, naturally gave an 
impulse to our people to commence improvements on their choice 
lots and meadow lands lying on and above the Ashuelot. As early as 
1723, a highway 2 rods wide was laid from Pauchaug to the Ashuelot ; 
and in 1736, this highway was extended to and through Merry's 
meadow. Indeed the travel and transportation between Northfield 
and Fort Dummer, all of which went on the east side of the river 

Interval of Peace. 227 

and over this highway, to the fordway above the mouth of Broad 
brook, had made a well worn road. And the existence of this es- 
tablished pathway was one of the reasons why men located on the 
east earlier than on the west side of the river. Fence viewers were 
first chosen by the town for Merry's meadow, in 1732 ; and the 
meadow proprietors organized, and ordered the fences built, in the 
spring of 1736. [See ante, p. 16.] 

As near as can be ascertained, the first house in this vicinity, was 
built by Daniel Shattuck in the fall of '36 or spring of '37. He put 
up a good sized and heavily timbered log house on the brook that 
ran through his lot in Merry's meadow, which he afterwards made 
into a fort, by building another similar structure on the opposite side 
of the brook, and connecting the two by a plank palisade, and sur- 
rounding the whole with a line of strong pickets. The fort was on 
the place now owned by John Stearns, and stood a little distance out 
upon the meadow where the road then ran. The brook has since 
changed its course, and now runs some distance to the south of the 
site of the fort. 

In the spring of '37 Robert Cooper built a log house just south of 
Merry's meadow, near the site of the old Hinsdale meeting house. 
Probably the other meadow proprietors improved their lots ; hut it is 
not known that more houses were put up at this time. 

In 1 741, John Evens built south of the Ashuelot, on what is known 
as the Elihu Stebbins homestead. Cooper and Evens were driven 
off in 1745, but returned after the close of the war. Evens's house 
was fortified in 1754, and served as a temporary refuge for the Steb- 
bins and Stratton families then living on the opposite side of the river. 
In 1738, Josiah Sartwell, then living in Northfield, obtained a 
grant of 100 acres from the General Court, which was laid out on 
the west bank of the Connecticut. It butted south on the north line of 
Northfield ; the west line ran N. 14° 30' W. 309 rods. The width 
at the south end was 115 rods, at the north end 30 rods. He built 
a block house, for a dwelling and fort, near the south line of his grant 
in '39 or '40. He was taxed in Northfield in '38, and seems to have 
moved upon his grant the next year. 

In 1742, Orlando Bridgman built a block-house on his farm, which 
lay south of and adjoined the Sartwell grant. This farm was wholly 
within the limits of Northfield, and the house stood about half a mile 
below Sartwell's. 

The coming on of these families induced Mr. Ebenezer Hinsdell, 
who had been chaplain at Fort Dummer for 14 years, to erect a 
block-house, upon land which he owned on Ash-swamp brook, and 

228 History of Northfieid. 

to put in a grist mill on the next brook about 50 rods below. This 
mill-site was convenient to the settlers just now located, and would 
accommodate the garrison and families stationed at Fort Dummer, 
who had previously got their grinding done at Belding's mill. The 
fort buildings were put up, probably in the summer of 1742, and 
stood on the bluff back of the meadow about 60 rods east of the river. 
The position was a strong one, and commanded a view southward as 
far as old Fort Hill, and northward to the mouth of Broad brook, and 
westward to the mountains, including Sartwell's and Bridgman's 

The cellar-hole of the fort is still to be seen, about 20 rods south- 
west of the house of Lemuel Liscom. 

These several block-houses, which were strictly private enterprises, 
and were used as dwellings, proved of great service in the subsequent 
wars, and will often come into notice in the course of our narrative. 

Capt. Kellogg continued in command at Fort Dummer, till June 
20, 1740, when he was appointed Interpreter to the Indian nations, 
and was succeeded in the command by Capt. Josiah Willard. — Joseph 
Kellogg was the son of iMartin Kellogg of Hadley, Deerfleld and 
Suffield. He was born at Hadley Nov. 8, 169 1 ; was taken captive by 
the Indians at Deerfleld when 12 years of age and carried to Canada, 
where he learned to speak French, and became familiar with the 
languages and customs of all the Indian tribes living in that region, 
and also or the Mohawks and some of the more western tribes. He 
was induced to return home in 17 14, and was almost constantly em- 
ployed in the public service on the frontiers, as has already appeared. 
He was often sent as a commissioner to Albany, Canada, and other 
places. He served as Interpreter, with headquarters at Fort Dum- 
mer, 1740-49 ; was employed as Interpreter in Rev. John Sergeant's 
Indian Mission school at Stockbridge for near two years ; was present 
at the celebrated treaty at Albany in 1754. In 1756, though broken 
in health, he was persuaded by Gov. Shirley to accompany him, as 
Interpreter, to Oswego. But his strength was not equal to the 
journey ; and he died and was buried at Schenectady. He was re- 
garded as the best Interpreter of his day in New England. 

Capt. Kellogg's was one of those true, brave natures that are not 
appreciated while living, and receive little renown when dead. Men 
feel the good they do and accept the blessings they impart, just as 
they accept and feel the daily sunshine, hardly realizing its source and 
beneficent power. Unselfish, fearless, conscientious always, ready 
to go where duty called, he gave the strength of his manhood to the 
defence of these frontiers. He lived to see doubtful beginnings be- 

Interval of Peace. 229 

come sturdy growths ; he lived to see the question settled that the 
French rule would never be dominant in the Connecticut valley. 
Northfield owes it to him that she was not a third time destroyed. 

While Fort Dummer was used as a Truck-blouse, little care was 
bestowed upon its defences; and in 1740 and '41 large repairs were 
made. Two bastions at opposite angles were built ; a line of pickets, 
20 feet in height, was set around the fort ; and some swivel guns 
were added to the pateraros with which it was originally armed. A 
" Great Gun," whose report could be distinctly heard at Northfield, 
is often named in the records, as part of the armament of the fort ; 
but it appears to have been used mainly as a signal when assistance 
was needed, or some remarkable news was received. Within the 
enclosure were four province houses, two stories high, convenient and 
comfortable ; besides several smaller houses containing a single room 

The New Province Line. — There had long existed a dispute 
between the Provinces of Massachusetts and New Hampshire, in re- 
gard to the true northern boundary of the former Province. It grew 
out of the different constructions put upon the Massachusetts charter 
of 1692. And as a last resort, the matter was by both parties in in- 
terest referred to the king. His Majesty issued a decree dated Aug. 
5, 1740, fixing the boundary line at a point more than 40 miles to 
the south of the line claimed by Massachusetts, and 14 miles further 
south than New Hampshire had claimed ; thus taking a strip 14X50 
miles in extent out of the territory of Massachusetts, her title to which 
had never been questioned, and on parts of which her citizens had 
been in quiet possession for two generations. This arbitrary decree 
caused great distress and loss, and laid the foundations for bitter 
resentments and re-criminations that lasted for half a century. 

By direction of the government of New Hampshire (Massachusetts 
declining to be a party) the new line was run in March 174 J, by 
Richard Hazen, from the Merrimack river, westward. As hereto- 
fore stated, this line cut off a tract of Northfield territory, 4 miles and 
197 rods in width. The Northfield proprietors however, did not 
give up their rights of property in this tract, and they were not inter- 
fered with. As late as 1753, the common lands lying north of the 
Ashuelot were divided to the old grantees, and the title thus acquired 
held good. Till the incorporation of Hinsdale in 1753, the people 
living on the cut off territory were styled, in deeds and official docu- 
ments, "of the northerly part of Northfield township above the line 
of the Massachusetts government." 

230 History of Northfield. 

Mr. Doolittle's Troubles. — The recorded action of the town 
shows that the first 17 years of Mr. Doolittle's pastorate in North- 
field was highly acceptable to the people. In 1733, tne town voted, 
" To give Rev. Mr. Doolittle the sum of fifteen pounds additional 
salary, in money or bills of credit, during his continuance in the work 
of the ministry amongst us." This vote furnishes unmistakable evi- 
dence of respect and confidence. But in 1736 or 37, a disaffection 
arose. His medical and surgical practice was extensive and lucrative, 
and in the opinion of some interfered with his ministerial duties. He 
also differed from some of his leading church members in his views 
of religious doctrine. 

A.Memorandum,\n the hand-writing of Lieut. Eliezur Wright, indi- 
cates — without explaining — the principal points of the controversy : 

" 1. the fall of the money ; 2. the ufe of the £100 ; 3. the wood ; 4. his 
entering a complaint to the Court and withdrawing his action ; 5. his telling the 
town he would not lay by dodoring and chirurgery under 400 pounds a year ; 
6. his refufing to comply with the Aflbciation's and the Court's advice for a 
mutual council ; 7. his pradice of doctoring and chirurgery, and acting as pro- 
prietor's clerk for Winchelter, contrary to the town's mind." 

The leading families that sided with Mr. D. were the Fields, 
Alexanders, Strattons, Beldings, Hunt, Evens, Petty, Beaman, and 
William Holton : his leading opposers were the Mattoons, Wrights, 
Merrimans, Jonathan Janes, Joseph Stebbins, Eleazar Holton, Samuel 
Smith, Nathaniel Dickinson, and Daniel Shattuck. A strong ma- 
jority of numbers upheld the pastor ; and the removal from town of 
Dea. Eleazar Mattoon, from dislike to Mr. D., weakened the minority. 

Feb. 26, 1739, the following paper was handed to Mr. Doolittle : 

" Rev 1 " 1 Sir: You have a long time been acquainted with the uneafine/s we 
labor under refpeding fome of the dodrines you have delivered from the pulpit 
and in private conversation, and we judge the following propofals very rcafon- 
able, and defirc your compliance with them : 

1. We judge it highly reafonable we (hould be heard upon the objedions we 
have to make againft fomc of the dodrines you have delivered as aforefaid, 
which dodrines we judge to be Arminianifm. 

2. Wc judge it very reafonable you fhould join with us in choofing a 
Council of minifters and others, indifferent in the caufe, to hear our matters of 

3 Wc judge it reafonable that you fhould have a copy of the matters of 
charge we have againlt you, a week before the fitting of the Council aforefaid. 

4.. Wc judge it reafonable that the parties fhould be obliged to abide by the 
determination of fuch Council, that the controvcrfic between us may be ended. 
By abiding by the determination of y e Council we mean, y' if the Council fliall 

Interval of Peace. 231 

judge y l we have proved chat you have advanced many of y e Arminian doc- 
trines, the relation you ftand in to us as our paftor and preacher (hall be dif- 
folved. But if they judge otherwife, we are willing you fhould continue to be 
our pallor. 

5. If you think what is above propofed, in whole or in part unreafonable, 
we defire you'd propofe fomething that is reafonable. 

We defire your anfwcr in writing within two days. Signed by Capt. Benj. 
Wright, and 18 others. 

No answer to these proposals was received ; and the disaffected 
brethren applied to Rev. William Williams the venerable minister of 
Hatfield, for advice. His answer, dated Mar. 2, 1739, breathes the 
spirit of true wisdom and christian charity, and recommends substan- 
tially the line of action contemplated in the proposals just quoted. 
He suggests, in addition, that k< the matter may be referred to the 
next meeting of the Association, which for aught I know, if desired, 
may be at your town." 

A meeting of the Hampshire Association was held at Northfield 
May 3, 1739, and Capt. Wright and those acting with him applied 
to it for advice. The Association recommended, 1. that the mem- 
bers of the church use all proper methods among themselves to heal 
the dissensions and secure harmony, by humble prayer to the God of 
peace, and by the earnest culture of the spirit of mutual good-will ; 
by treating your pastor with respect and good temper ; by endeavor- 
ing to learn his principles by calm conversation with him, and careful 
attendance upon his public ministry for the space of half a year. 
2. If all these means shall fail, then we recommend the calling of 
a mutual Council. 3. If a Council be called, we recommend that you 
agree upon such churches as are known to be sound and orthodox in 
the faith, and not directly related to either side ; and that you furnish 
the pastor in writings two weeks beforehand, all the particulars wh,ich 
you have against him. 4. That you pledge yourselves to abide by 
the decision of the Council. 

But the disaffected brethren declined to call upon Mr. Doolittle 
for the "calm conversation ; " and Mr. Doolittle declined to unite 
with them in calling a Council. 

Another appeal was made to the Association at its meeting in West 
Springfield, April, 174O; and that body repeated its advice of last 
year. In the fall, the matter was carried (by which party is unknown) 
to the County court in session at Springfield. In response, the Jus- 
tices sent a letter addressed " To the selectmen of the town of 
Northfield, to be communicated to said town," in which they declare 
that, although " this affair was not directly within their province ; yet 

232 History of Northfield. 

being desirous that peace may be promoted and religion flourish 
amongst the people," they advise " a compliance with the advice of 
the Association, without making any additions thereto, or without any 
strained constructions put thereon, readily and speedily to conform 
to it." 

To understand the exact nature and bearings of this controversy, 
and the zeal of the two parties — the one in favor of submitting the 
matter to an Ecclesiastical Council, and the other in opposition to 
that course — it is to be borne in mind that this was the period of the 
"Great Awakening" which attended the preaching of Rev. Jona- 
than Edwards then of Northampton, and that men's opinions on 
doctrinal points were becoming very sharply defined. 

The strong majority in his favor in the church, probably influenced 
the pastor to decline all overtures for a public hearing and adjudication. 

The following paper, in the hand-writing of Mr. Doolittle, shows 
how the difficulty was settled — though probably not healed: [it ap- 
pears to have been read and the action taken at the close of the 
afternoon service on the Sabbath.] 

Northfield, February 27, A.D., 1740-41. 
To y e Church of Chrift in Northfield. Brethren : There has been a great 
noife about my Principals which has been very wounding to Religion and hurt- 
full :o peace and unity among us : and I now make a demand of all thofe that 
have any thing to objccl againft my Principals to come to me and tell me y e very 
particular article they object againft, to fc if I cant fatifHe them, and if I dont 
fatiffie them, then to bring it to the Church, or elfe to hold your peace forever 
hereafter: And this in order that the matter may be healed among ourfelvcs, 
according to the advice of the Aflbciation : — Brethren, if it be your minds that 
thofe that have any thing to objeft againft my Principals mould do as I have 
now demanded of them, manifeft it by lifting up the hand. Voted in y a 

Industries. — Azariah Wright was the mason, Stephen Crowfoot 
and Daniel Wright the carpenters, Joseph Burt the cordwainer, and 
Benj. Miller, the tanner, through the period covered by this chapter. 
John Alexander was the tailor till his removal to Fort Dummer in 
'33. Samuel Smith opened a blacksmith's shop about 1730. Thomas ■ 
Taylor commenced work as cordwainer as early as*'40 or '41. John 
Mun the weaver was in Northfield in 1744. 


The old French and Indian War. 1744-17 53. 

Fruits of 18 Years of Peace — War Declared — Conduct of New Hamp- 
SHIRE — New Forts at Northfield — Cordon of Forts — Northfield 
Militia Company — William Phipps — Nehemiah How — No. 4 — 
Upper Ashuelot — Joshua Holton — Capt. Daniel Paine's Troop — 
Capt. Josiah Brown's — Capt. Joseph How's — Indian Raids — The 
Kilung of Young Benjamin Wricht — Attack on Shattucic's Fort — 
Capt. Stevens's Defence of No. 4 — Killing of Nathaniel Dickinson 
and Asahel Burt — New Line of Forts Projected — Sieur Raimbault — 
John Smead — New School House — Lt. John Sergeant's Death — 
Discouragements and Difficulties — Capt. Melvin's Scout — Col. 
Stoddard's Death — Capt. Hobbs's Fight — Serct. Thomas Taylor's 
Encounter — The Kilunc of Aaron Belding — Peace — Death of Rev. 
Mr. Doouttle — Mr. Isaac Lyman — Robert Cooper — Effects of 
the War — Rev. John Hubbard's Settlement — Pushinc up North- 
ward — Pasturing the Commons — Shepherds — Fourth and Fifth 
Divisions of Commons — Industries. 

HE present chapter opens at the end of 18 years of assured 
peace in the Connecticut valley. Besides the forts and 
dwellings near the north line of the Northfield grant, 
enumerated in the last chapter, several settlements had 
been projected higher up, and to the eastward of the river. Single 
adventurers had squatted down, and clusters of farmers had located 
on spots of fertile meadow, and were laying the foundations of villages 
and towns. 

In the summer of 1736, William Smead, Nathan Blake and Seth 
Heaton broke ground at Upper Ashuelot (Keene) ; and the planta- 
tion was now increased to a considerable village. The same year a 
few huts were put up at Arlington (Winchester) ; and settlers moved 
on so rapidly that in Nov. 1743 an assessment of <£8o was laid on 
polls and estates. There were on the list, 23 resident families and 
individuals who paid a poll tax, besides 1 1 non-resident land owners. 
In 1739, Richard Ellis and his son Reuben built a dwelling house 
(log hut) and broke up 5 or 6 acres of land in township No. 1 (West- 
minster) on the west side of the river. Seth Tisdale and John Barney 

234 History of Northfield. 

were with them. In 1740, John Kilburn started from Wethersiield, 
Conn., stopped at Northfield with his family where he was taxed 
1 741, and then moved on to No. 3 (Walpole). In 1742 or '43, 
Nehemiah How of Grafton Mass., William Phipps, Daniel Rugg of 
Lancaster, with their families, Robert Baker and others settled at 
Great Meadow (Putney), made a clearing, built a fort, and in the 
space of three years had gathered a considerable stock of cattle. And 
there is some evidence that, at the same date, Daniel How, Thomas 
Crisson and others from Rutland Mass. made a clearing and built 
huts on the opposite side of the river at No. 2. (Westmoreland). 

As early as 1740, three families by the name of Farnsworth from 
Lunenburg Mass. commenced a settlement at No. 4. (Charlestown). 
They were joined by Isaac Parker from Groton, John Spafford, Capt. 
Phinehas Stevens, and others, and in '43 built a corn-mill and fort. 
In '44 they put up a saw-mill, and were then described as " nine or 
ten families who lived in huts near to each other," and depended for 
protection on the fort. 

1744. War was declared by France against Great Britain, March 
15 ; and on the 29th England declared war against France in return. 
Intelligence of the opening of hostilities was not received in Boston 
till towards the end of May, though it had been known in Canada a 
month earlier, which gave the French an important advantage. 

This contest between the powers over the water, meant for New 
England a war with the Indians, with a repetition of all the atrocities 
and distress of former struggles with the savages. 

The Canadian government had been preparing for such an out- 
break for many years. In 1 73 1, they erected Fort St. Frederick, 
afterwards known as Crown Point, which gave them the absolute 
control of Lake Champlain ; and, what was quite as important, 
afforded a base of operations, and magazine for provisions and am- 
munition, and an asylum and cover for war parties returning from 
our valley with prisoners and spoils. 

The number of Indians then in direct league with the French, ac- 
cording to a statement prepared by Gov. Clinton of New York, was 
about 600. The Cagnowagas were about 230 ; the Missisqueeks 
(Gray Lock's old tribe) 40 ; Abenaques at St. Francis, 90 ; etc. All 
these tribes were located at points convenient to strike the western 
New England borders. 

At this date the block- houses above Northfield were in good con- 
dition. Fort Dummer had been lately repaired ; and the new forts 
above the Ashuelot, and at Great Meadow and No. 4, were reason- 
ably strong — though they were not manned. 

The Old French and Indian War. 235 

But our frontiers were taken by surprise, and were really in a poor 
condition for effective warfare. Massachusetts and New Hampshire 
were more directly exposed ; and to make effectual resistance to as- 
saults from the north, or to carry the war into Canada, there was 
need of united counsels and harmonious action. But the two Pro- 
vinces were at bitter variance. The arbitrary decision of the bound- 
ary question caused wounds that were not readily healed. And the 
course pursued by New Hampshire at this juncture evinced a singu- 
lar lack of comity and friendliness. Notwithstanding she had got 
the territory, she refused to defend the people living upon it. The 
following declaration of the New Hampshire Assembly May 3, 1745, 
when called upon to man the forts and protect the settlers on the 
Connecticut, shows thespirit which controlled her people throughout 
the entire period of the war. "The fort [Dummer] was 50 miles 
distant from any towns which had been settled by the government or 
people of New Hampshire : that the people had no right to the lands 
which, by the dividing line, had fallen within New Hampshire, not- 
withstanding the plausible arguments which had been used to induce 
them to bear the expense of the line, namely, that the land would 
be given to them or else would be sold to pay that expense ; that the 
charge of maintaining that fort, at so great a distance, and to which 
there was no communication by roads would exceed what had been 
the whole expense of government before the line was established ; 
that if they should take upon them to maintain this fort, there was 
another much better and more convenient fort at a place called 
Number-Four, besides several other settlements, which they should 
also be obliged to defend ; and finally that there was no danger that 
these forts would want support, since it was the interest of Massa- 
chusetts, by whom they were erected, to maintain them as a cover to 
their frontiers." x 

A second source of weakness in the conduct of the war, was the 
want of ammunition and stores for the prompt despatch of scouts and 
relief parties. Nothing was ready for emergencies. " Nobody may 
move till an account is sent to the chief colonel ; and tljen the men 
must be mustered ; and by the time the commissary can furnish the 
men with provisions, their time is expired." 3 Third, " it is observa- 
ble that the continual changing of schemes renders all measures for 
the war unsuccessful. Before any one single scheme is tried, it is 
flung up, and nothing ever prosecuted to advantage : There is scarcely 

1 Belknap's Hiuory of New Hampshire. Farmer's Ed., p. 286. 
* Doolicde'j Narrative. 

236 History of Northfield. 

any one scheme of more than six months continuance." 1 Another 
cause, which could not be obviated, but which had most important 
consequences, was the perfect knowledge of our situation possessed 
by the savages. For a series of years the Indians had come to trade 
at the Truck-house, and were free to hunt and rove at pleasure. 
They lived in all the towns, and went in and out of the houses of 
settlers — often sleeping at night by the kitchen fire ; and were thus 
perfectly acquainted with the state of the forts, and fields, and habits 
of the people. The six Indian commissioners that were maintained 
by our government at the Truck-house for ten years, receiving regu- 
lar pay and rations, left the hour that the war-cloud appeared. 

At this date, John Stoddard of Northampton was colonel of the 
Hampshire regiment of militia. On the declaration of War, Col. 
Stoddard was charged with the general superintendence of the defences 
on the western frontiers : Capt. Ephraim Williams was put in com- 
mand of the cordon of forts ; Maj. Israel Williams was appointed 
commissary, with Capt. Josiah Willardat Fort Dummer and Ebenezer 
Hinsdell at Hinsdell's fort, under-commissarys. This list of officers 
will need to be kept in mind in order to understand many facts and 
references in the papers which follow. 

Capt. Benjamin Wright, who took so important a part in preced- 
ing wars, died in 1743 ; but some of the Northfield men who had 
had experience in fighting the Indians were still able for service. 
Dea. Ebenezer Alexander, though in his 60th year, was vigorous and 
retained the old war spirit. Robert Cooper, though less able was 
ready on emergency to take the war path. Other names will be 
found in their place on the muster-rolls. But the Northfield men to 
be made prominent in the scenes to be now depicted, were mostly 
new in military command. The officers of the Northfield militia 
Co. in 1743, were Zechariah Field, Captain, Samuel Hunt, Lieu- 
tenant, and Hezekiah Stratton, Ensign. Stratton, now in his 55th 
year, had been distinguished for wood-craft and skill in marking out 
new land-grants, rather than a taste for warlike adventure. He and 
Gaius Field were appointed chainmen in laying out Arlington, and 
many other special and township grants which required thorough 
knowledge of the lay of the land and points of compass, as well as 
hardihood and endurance. And his intimate acquaintance with the 
country and with the Indians, and their hiding places, and his known 
courage, induced the authorities to confide to him special military 

1 Doolittlc's Narratiif. 

The Old French and Indian War. 237 

The new forts. — Dea. Ebenezer Alexander appears to have 
scented the war from afar, and in the winter of '43-4 made preparation to 
fortify his premises. Early in the spring he built a mount on the rise 
of land to the east of his dwelling-house. It was started as a private 
enterprise, but was afterwards accepted and the cost paid by the town. 
The mount, which was made of heavy timbers, two stories high, with 
look-out and roof, formed the easterly end of a fort, which extended 
down the slope towards the street and enclosed the buildings and yard. 
The sides and west end were of stout posts and planks. The mount 
was finished before May 25, as this bill of labor and a part of the 
materials, presented to the town on that day, shows : 

Acil. of Work done at Dea. Alexander's mount. 

Ebenezer Alexander's accompt — To a hand u days, £440 

To carting a load of boards, o 40 

To 5 cattle \ a day, 039 

To timber for rafters and girts to lay the floor 050 

Pedajah Field's accompt — To 2 day's hewing of timber, 1 4 o 

John Holton's ac£L — 8 day's work Sc horfe \ a day, 3 53 

Eben r Petty's acft. — 7 day's work Sc oxen part of a day, 2 19 6 

Simeon Alexander — 3 J day's work, 1 8 o 

Jo(hua Holton — z\ day's work and horfe half a day 1 1 3 

Richard Chamberlain — 2 day's work,. o 16 o 

John Petty — 4^ day's work and horfe \ a day, I \j 3 

Thomas Wier — 4 day's work, I 12 o 

John Brown — 4^ day's work and oxen lj days, 2 1 6 

Ebenezer Webb — 3? day's work, 1 8 o 

John Avery — 5} day's work hewing and framing and raid ng, 2 15 o 

Hezekiah Elmer — z\ day's work, I o o 

Benoni Wright — 1 day, 080 

Ifaac Warner — 1 day 080 

Aaron Burt — 430 lbs. nails, o 15 o 

Jofeph Stebbins — 1 day hand and team, 1 6 o 

Nathaniel Dickinfon — 800 ft. of boards, 2 18 o 

Jofeph Petty Jr. — 41 5 ft. planks, 2 10 o 

Jofeph Stebbins — 1 day, 080 

Eben r Warner — 1 day, 080 

Total, £36 1 6 

April 27. The legislature being about to adjourn for a month, 
Gov. Shirley sent in a message asking that, in case " advices of a 
rupture with France should arrive during the recess, and it be neces- 
sary to provide for the defence of the frontiers," he might have power 
to act at discretion ; and the same was granted. He received in- 
formation of the declaration of war, about May 2ist or 22d, and 
immediately sent orders to Col. Stoddard, who notified the town 
officers of^Northfield. And early in the morning May 24, a warrant 

238 History of Northfield. 

was issued by the selectmen of Northfield, calling a town meeting at 
6 o'clock in the afternoon of said day (on 12 hours' notice) to de- 
termine 1 . whether the town will come into some regular method for 
the defence of the town, by building forts and mounts. 2. To deter- 
mine what houses shall be so fortified. 3. To choose a committee 
to see to the carrying of said forts and mounts. The matter was re- 
ferred to a committee. And at a meeting held June 9, the town 
voted, To build four mounts at the following men's houses, viz. 
Capt. Zechariah Field's, Dea. Ebenezer Alexander's, Rev. Mr. 
Doolittle's, Nathaniel Dickinson's — said mounts to be 19 feet high, 
boarded up 12 feet, and lined with plank in the second story 7 feet; 
the whole to be surrounded with a stockade. Voted, that the selectmen 
be authorized to employ some persons to apply to the General Court 
for soldiers to guard us, and money to pay for the forts. 

Some of the framed houses built near this date, were brick lined ; 
some had the upper story projecting, with holes cut for firing down 
upon assailants. Dea. Alexander's, Zechariah Field's, and landlord 
Field's were brick lined ; Nathaniel Dickinson's had brick ends. 

But the people did not wait for the formal action of the town. The 
mount at Dea. Alexander's was substantially finished before the first 
meeting : and May 25, Lt. Jona. Belding commenced sawing out 
mount timber ; and June 6, work was begun at Nathaniel Dickinson's, 
and the mount and fort finished June 26. The cost of materials was 
X33 4 8 : cost of labor, ^34 4. 

The mount at Mr. Doolittle's cost X18 7 6. The cost of Mr. 
Doolittle's fort, and the mount and stockade at Zechariah Field's have 
not been ascertained. The four mounts were completed at once ; 
but the work at some of the stockades was delayed. An article in 
the town warrant the next March, was, " to choose a committee to 
finish Dea. Alexander's fort." This was the strongest and largest of 
the four defences, and was reckoned the most important. 

May 31. The legislature met according to adjournment, and Gov. 
Shirley says in his message, " I have sometime since received advices 
that the war between Great Britain and fFrance which had been long 
expected, is now publickly declared on both sides." At the session, 
Sabbath June 2, voted, that 500 men be impressed out of the foot 
companies and ordered to march under such officers to such parts of 
the frontiers as may be deemed best, there to be placed in garrison, 
or employed in scouring the woods, as the circumstances require, 
to be furnished with provisions and ammunition for a term not ex- 
ceeding 3 weeks. Two hundred of these troops were sent to the 
western frontiers. 

The Old French and Indian War. 239 

June 11. Col. Stoddard directs Maj. Williams "to send 10 men 
more from his regiment for the protection of Northfield, to finish the 
detachment already begun." 

June 13, the legislature ordered 500 more men to be raised for thp 
defence of the frontiers, said levies "to be paid till the 15th day of 
October and no longer." But provision was made for the subsist- 
ence of only 200 of this last levy, and no more were mustered into 

June 14, an order was passed by the legislature for building a line 
of fortifications between Colrain and the Dutch settlements in New 
York. In pursuance of this vote, three forts were constructed : one — 
and the strongest — at East Hoosuck (Adams), named Fort Massachu- 
setts ; one, named Fort Pelham on the high country in Rowe ; the 
other, named Fort Shirley, in Heath. In addition to these forts, 
which were built at the exoense of the Province, several block-houses 
were erected at individual or town charge. Two such block-houses 
were built in Colrain, one in Fall-town, and one in Greenfield. 
These, like the forts at Northfield, were in part manned by soldiers 
in the public pay, and in part by the owners and inhabitants. 

Forts Massachusetts, Dummer and No. 4, were the strong out- 
posts ; and Northfield was the strategic point of chief importance as 
a rallying centre for men and depot of stores, for the forts and men 
above. In June, Corp. Elias Alexander was transferred from Fort 
Dummer, and put in charge of the garrisons at Northfield. The 
rations allowed the troops on the frontiers at this date were : In gar- 
rison, ill), bread, iV pint beans or peas, per day ; 2&S. pork for 3 days ; 
I gall, molasses for 42 days. On the march, ill), bread, lib. pork, 1 
gill of rum v per day. 

The season was consumed in these preparations, with no interrup- 
tions from the enemy. 

Sabbath Oct. 13, the General Court passed an order, that the pay 
of men in the service be stopped on the 15th. " But inasmuch as 
it may be necessary for some marching scouts to be employed in the 
winter, ordered^ that 12 men out of each of the 5 snow-shoe com- 
panies in the western parts, amounting to 60 in all, be detached and 
sent out under a captain commissioned for that purpose, to scout and 
range the woods for the four months next coming, their march to be 
from Contoocook on the Merrimack river to the westward as far as 
the Captain-General shall think best." 

1745. The seige and capture of Louisburg, distinguished the spring 
of this year, and concentrated the energies of the government. Dea. 
Ebenezer Alexander was an officer in this expedition, " where he had 

240 History of Northfield. 

the good fortune to take a French captive." He held a captain's 
commission, and appears to have been in command of a company 
raised in this vicinity. 

Under the call for volunteers for frontier service, Hezekiah Strat- 
ton and another Northfield man enlisted. The following papers 
explain themselves : 

" I am heartily glad that Ens. Stratton is enlifted : I look upon him as a fit 
man to have y c command of y c men polled at Northfield, and appoint him to 
have y c ' charge of them and to appoint another under him in his abfence. I 
have ordered Corp. Alexander back to Fall-town by reafon his family is there. 
Fort Shirley July 17, 1745. Ephraim Williams. 

" To Enfign Stratton, Sr: I defire you to fee that y c foldiers lodge at y 8 
forts, and likewife defire you and the commanding officers [of militia] to con- 
fult in what manner is beft to guard y e people in their buiinefs, and condudl 
accordingly till further orders, who am y" to ferve. E. Williams. 

" Enfign Stratton : If you have no man among you that is fit to head a 
fcout as Alexander, fend for him, for he fhall have corporal's pay whether he 
does any more than have a care of the fcout. He has been in y e fervice you 
know a great while. 1 know nothing but he has behaved well. 

EpH m Williams." 

No record of the scout that went out at this time under Corp. 
Alexander has been found. The bounty offered by the Massachu- 
setts government for Indian scalps this year, was 100 pounds new 

Capt. Josiah Willard had 20 men at Fort Dummer — barely suffi- 
cient for guard duty and to keep open his line of communication. 
Col. Eben f . Hinsdell kept his own garrison ; and Capt. Phinehas 
Stevens was at No. 4, without men. 

The first mischief done in the valley in this war, was on the 5th 
of July, when a small party of Indians captured William Phipps as 
he was hoeing in his corn-field at the south-west corner of Great 
Meadow (Putney). Two of them took him into the woods about 
half a mile, when one of the Indians went back for something which 
he had left, and Phipps, watching his chance struck down his keeper 
with his hoe ; and then with the disabled Indian's gun shot down the 
other as he came up the hill on his return. Phipps instantly started 
for the fort, but unfortunately was met by three others of the party, 
who seized, killed and scalped him. On the 10th, the same or ano- 
ther party waylaid and scalped Dea. Josiah Fisher at Upper Ashuelot, 
as he was driving his cows to pasture. 

On receipt of the news of these assaults, Capt. Ebenezer Alexan- 
der, who had enlisted a company under the governor's call, was 

The Old French and Indian War. 24 1 

ordered out, and kept in service scouting the woods and guarding the 
towns, from July 12 to Sept. 8. The company numbered 56 men -, 
mostly from the lower towns in Hampshire county. This was the 
time when Ensign Stratton was put in charge of the forts at North- 
field, and Corp. Alexander was sent out on a scout. 

Oct. 11. About four score French and Indians assaulted the fort 
at the Great Meadow, and took captive Nehemiah How, and killed 
David Rugg, coming down the river in a canoe. How and Rugg 
were both residents at Putney. The former had been at work cut- 
ting wood 40 rods from the fort, and was on his way back when he 
was set upon and seized, and hurried off into a swamp, where he was 
pinioned. His captors were seen and fired upon from the fort ; one 
was killed, another mortally wounded, and a third who had hold of 
Mr. How had a bullet shot through his powder horn. The ward, who 
was on the look-out at the time told Dea. Wright, " he thought the 
number of the enemy that came ir» sight of the fort was about 50 ; when 
he first saw them there was 8 of them stript and without their guns, 
in pursuit of Mr. How. When he saw that they would catch him, 
he turned, and with his hands lifted up, resigned himself into their 
hands. The enemy were in the meadow scarce an hour, including 
the attack on the fort and killing the cattle. 1 " Little damage was 
done to the fort ; but all the cattle were killed ; the best parts of the 
flesh of some, and the hides of all were carried away by the retreating 
savages. Rugg and another (Thomas Baker) were met, coming 
down the river in a canoe. The former was shot and scalped ; the 
latter escaped. Mr. How was conducted by way of Lake George 
and Crown Point to Canada, and died at Quebec May 25, 1747. 
[See Genealogy.] 

As soon as the assault was known at Northfield, Ens. Stratton 
with 10 men started for Fort Dummer. This was on Saturday. At 
ten o'clock that night, they were joined by 29 men from Deerfield. 
And Sabbath morning the party, including as many as could be spared 
from the garrison, set out from Fort Dummer, under command of 
Col. Willard, and reached the fort at Great Meadow at 2 o'clock. 
Learning what they could from the ward and soldiers there, they fol- 
lowed the enemy's track till near sunset, when they came to the 
point where the Indians scattered in different directions. Here they 
camped for the night. On Monday Col. Willard and his force started 
for No. 4 ; when within about 7 miles of this place they struck the 
tracks of Indians ; but the Indians themselves had disappeared. Rest- 

1 Dea. Noah Wright's Journal : N. E. Hist. Gen. Register, n, 207. 

242 History of Northfield. 

ing at No. 4, on Tuesday the scout set out to return, by way of 
Upper Ashuelot, and reached Northfield on Wednesday. 

Small bodies of soldiers were posted at the forts, and at some of 
the towns, through the winter. Maj. Edward Hartwell with his com- 
pany was ordered into garrison at Northfield, and remained until 
spring. 300 pairs of snow-shoes were sent to Hampshire Co. for 
use in scouting. 

1746. Both the French and English governments laid plans for 
important campaigns this season. The English intended to invade 
Canada ; and the French designed to destroy the forts at East Hoosuck, 
No. 4, Upper Ashuelot, and Fort Dummer, which would lay open 
the more important frontier towns. 

Capt. Phinehas Stevens was the first of our commanders astir. 
March 11, he set out with 49 men, as he says, "to save the fortress 
at No. 4 from falling into the enemy's hands, and arrived there in 
time." April 19, a party of French and Indians under Ens. De Ni- 
verville, who had been watching the town [No. 4,] waylaid a party of 
workmen who were going with a team of 4 oxen to the mill, which was 
at some distance from the garrison, killed the oxen, and carried the 
men, Capt. John SpafFord, Lt. Isaac Parker and Stephen Farnsworth 
captives to Canada. They also burnt both the saw and grist-mills. 

April 23. The General Court passed an order for raising from 
the several regiments of militia, 178 men to be sent to the western 
frontiers ; and 93 men more who were inhabitants of the western 
towns to be employed there, proportioned in the following manner : 
4 at No. 4 ; 2 at Great Meadow (which shows that this settlement 
was not abandoned) ; 4 at Upper Ashuelot ; 4 at Lower Ashuelot ; 
4 at Winchester j 4 at Colrain ; 4 at Fall-town ; 6 at Northfield ; 6 at 
Deerfield ; etc., the said men to be employed in guarding and scouting 
in and near the towns to which they respectively belong ; pay and sub- 
sistence to continue till Nov. 1, next. And for the encouragement of 
scouting and ranging parties, the following bounties were offered, viz. 
for male captives over 12 years old, 80 pounds ; under 12, 42 pounds, 
and the same for females of any age. For scalps of males over 12, 
75 pounds ; under 12, 36 pounds 10 shillings 6 pence, and the same 
for scalps of females of any age. Also a bounty for enlistments of 
25 shillings^ and 25 shillings per month for pay and 25 shillings for 

A previous order had been issued to Capt. Stevens to raise a com- 
pany of 60 men. And it was now voted, that 30 of these men should 
be posted at No. 4, there to do duty, while the other 30 marches 

The Old French and Indian War. 243 

into the enemy's country, and so they are to take turns to guard, and 
go to the places where the Indians dwell and hunt. 

The same day that these orders were passed — April 23 — about 
50 Indians came to Upper Ashuelot, intending to rush into the gar- 
rison just as the people should come out in the morning to go to the^r 
work ; but a man who had gone out early saw them and gave the 
alarm. They however shot down John Bullard, stabbed Daniel 
McKeeney's wife, took Nathan Blake, burnt 7 buildings and killed 
23 head of cattle. Mrs. McKeeney had been milking her cow at 
the barn near by, and was returning with her pail, when an Indian 
rushed up and struck a long knife into her back ; but she continued 
her walk to near the gate of the fort, where she fell and expired. 

Near this date, Joshua Holton of Northfield was sent to Boston 
to receive the money due the Northfield families for billeting Maj. 
Hartwell and his men the preceding winter. The money, =£46 o 7^, 
was paid to him ; and while on the home journey he was waylaid, 
April 26, by a party of Indians, on the road west of Lunenburg, who 
killed and scalped him, and made off with the money. On the peti- 
tion of Rev. Mr. Doolittle and others, in which the above facts are 
recited, the General Court ordered the sum to be made up to them. 

An immense body of the enemy was now out, as is shown by 
the fact that nearly simultaneous attacks were made at widely scattered 
points. May 2, Seth Putnam was shot, at No. 4, about 60 rods 
from the fort. May 4, Upper Ashuelot was beset. May 6, Dea. 
Timothy Brown and Robert Moffatt were taken, at Lower Ashuelot. 
May 9, Fall-town was assaulted ; the same day two men were fired 
upon by Indians near Fort Massachusetts. May 10, they waylaid 
the road at Colrain, killed Matthew Clark, and wounded his wife and 

On learning these facts, Gov. Shirley May 15, ordered three troops 
of horse sent up to the upper Connecticut valley. Capt. Daniel 
Paine of Dudley with his company passed through Northfield the 
22d, and reached No. 4 the next day. On the morning of the 24th, 
twenty of his men went out to see the place where Seth Putnam was 
killed, and fell into an ambush. As a graphic picture of the affair 
and its consequents, the story as told by an actor, is here inserted : 

" The petition of Ebenezer Bacon of Dudley, fheweth — That y r Petitioner 
was in the fervice of the Province at No. 4, in the month of May 1 74.6, a 
quartcrmafter of a troop of Horfe under the command of Capt. Daniel Paine: 
That in a little time after the troop arrived there, a number of them were lb 
imprudent as to go out of the fort not properly armed, to view the lituation of 
the place, which y r petitioner obferved, and immediately followed them well 

244 History of Northfield. 

armed. When y c Indians, greatly fuperior in numbers fired on y e men, and 
killed fome ; and y r petitioner has good reafon to think he not only killed a 
principal and foremoit Indian, by means whereof he faved fome of the men's 
lives and Hopped the Indians purfuing them. That while y r petitioner was 
thus engaged, he received from an ambufcade of Indians a number of fhot, five 
of which are Hill remaining in him, and feveral went through the extreme parts 
of his body. Notwithilanding which he efcaped and got into the fort, where 
he flayed about 5 or 6 weeks, and then with great difficulty got home ; and it 
was fo much longer before he was cured fo as to be able to do anything. That 
while he was at No. 4, it feems he was boarded and nurfed with one John 
SpafFord who (now near nine years after he was wounded) has commenced an 
action againft him for forty millings lawful money therefor, as by y° writ and 
account appear — That y r petitioner has obtained a continuation of the aflion 
that he might bring the cafe before y r Excellency and Honors — Prays for a 
fum fufficient to pay the demand above mentioned, together with the charge and 
trouble he was in traveling out and home near 100 miles to anfwer to faid 
a£tion, and the charges for fupporting a number of pcrfons bringing y r peti- 
tioner to Northfield, and alfo the great expenfc he was at to get home." 

The General Court ordered, " That the sum of .£5 10 be paid to 
the petitioner to enable him to discharge the debt mentioned in the 
petition, and the charges arising on the s d action." 

In the skirmish that ensued, the Indians were beaten off, leaving 
behind 13 blankets, 5 coats, 1 gun and some other things. Five 
Indians were killed. Aaron Lyon, Peter Perrin, Joseph Marcy of 
Capt. Paine's troop, Samuel Farnsworth, Elijah Allen belonging to 
the fort, were killed ; Obadiah Sartwell was taken prisoner. 

A plan was projected at this time for the invasion of Canada by a 
large force. The records of the General Court show that, June 2, 
a committee was appointed " to provide supplies for the intended ex- 
pedition against Canada ;" and the governor issued a proclamation on 
the subject. Many young men and others enlisted, partly for the 
sake of the bounty, partly for the excitement of such an enterprise, and 
partly because they preferred service in the open field to the confined life 
of the garrison. But the plan miscarried. |C Great numbers were 
kept in pay and idleness for more than a year, to the ruin of many of 
them, and the hurt of the country." 1 

June 3. The legislature voted that 207 men be raised and added 
to the 440 already posted on the western frontiers ; 46 of whom were 
to be posted on or near the Connecticut river above Northfield ; and 
50 to be a company under proper officers, to range the woods with 
50 large dogs. The company of Rangers was put in command of Capt. 

' Doolittle's Narrative. 

The Old French and Indian War. 245 

Eleazar Melvin of Concord, who was one of Capt. Lovewell's men 
in the fight with Paugus. v 

• After a short stay at No. 4, Capt. Paine was relieved by Capt. 
Josiah Brown and his troop from Sudbury and Framingham. Soon, 
after reaching No. 4, Capt. Stevens and Capt. Brown with about 50 
men started to go to the meadow to look after some horses, when by 
the action of the dogs, they had intimation of an ambush, which they 
shortly discovered near a causeway they were intending to cross. 
They were moving cautiously, when one of Capt. B's men caught 
sight of an Indian lying flat on the ground, and fired upon him, when 
the whole ambush arose and fired in return. u Our men were com- 
manded to stop there and fight them, which they did, and drove the 
Indians off from their ground, and got upon it and maintained it in 
spite of them. Ours received the loss of no men, but four or five 
were wounded. They sent a party of men to carry the wounded to 
the fort, and the rest maintained the fight and stood them manfully; 
After the fight was over they found where the Indians drew off several 
of their dead into a swamp. Capt. Stevens sent down a troop of men 
to guard Mr. Doolittle and Dr. Williams [of Deerfield] to cut off" 
the arm of one of the soldiers that was sore wounded, broke as they 
supposed, that the end would not be healed without cutting off one 
of his arms. I have been told that our men recover so much plunder, 
guns, hatchets, spears, lines, and such like things as they sold for 
seventy or eighty pounds." 1 David Parker and Jedediah Winchell 
of Capt. Stevens's men were wounded, the latter mortally : Jona. 
Stanhope and Cornet Noah Eaton, both of Framingham, were 
wounded but recovered. This fight was on June 19. While Capt. 
Brown was stationed at No. 4, his horses were sent down and sub- 
sisted for a month at Northfield. In the absence of funds to pay for 
forage, sub-commissary Hinsdell had " to pledge his word" to the 
Northfield farmers, and both parties had sore trials of patience before 
the money came to pay the charges. 

Having drawn our troops to the extreme northern border, the In- 
dians concentrated nearer Northfield. June 24, a party of them 
came to Bridgman's fort, and surprised some men who were at work 
in the meadow a little distance below the fort. They killed William 
Robbins and James Barker of Springfield ; wounded Michael Gilson 
and Patrick Ray, and took Daniel How Jr. and John Beaman, the 
latter a Northfield man. Beaman shot one of the Indians before he 
was taken. 

' Dea. Noah Wright's Journal. 

246 History of Northfield. 

The same day, as a scout of 12 men, under Capt. Timothy Carter, 
was resting at a place called Cold Spring, a little below Fort Dum- 
mer, a skulking party of Indians suddenly fell upon them, and cap- 
tured a part of their arms — though the men all escaped. James 
McLellan, an apprentice to Willis Hall of Sutton, lost a gun valued 
at 15 pounds, and his coat and waistcoat which cost his master 10 
pounds — so says his petition. July 3, a party of about 12 Indians 
ambushed Col. Hinsdell's lane below his mill. Col. Willard, with 
a team and guard of 20 men crossed over from Fort Dummer and 
went down to get a grist. By some means he detected the ambush ; 
but went directly to the mill and set it running, and then made a dash 
for the savages who were hid about 30 rods below. The Indians 
rose and fired and shot off two of Moses Wright's fingers ; but our 
men drove them from their cover, and took all their packs, which 
proved to be worth 40 pounds old tenor. 

In July, Capt. Joseph How of Marlboro' with his troop, was sent up 
to relieve Capt. Brown. He had a company of 38 men, mostly be- 
longing to Marlboro* and Southboro.' But cavalry was not adapted 
for Indian warfare. The difficulty of getting forage, except by turning 
the horses upon the meadows where they could be shot or stampeded ; 
and the impossibility of preserving the order and silence necessary for 
scouting, were fatal objections to this arm of the service. 

Aug. 3, while Capt. How was there, an army of French and In- 
dians came upon No. 4, and kept up the siege for two days. They 
killed 16 horses belonging to Capt. How's men, 1 and all the cattle 
owned by the settlers, burnt the mill (which had been rebuilt) and all 
the houses, save one that stood near the stockade. One man, Ebenezer 
Phillips, was killed. Haying done this mischief the enemy withdrew 
at his leisure. As soon as the news of this disaster reached Boston, 
the governor issued orders to Capt. Ephraim Brown and Capt. Win- 
chester " to go with their troops of horse to No. 4, and carry as great 
a quantity of provisions as they conveniently can, and relieve the 
garrison, and hold the place ; and upon their return in the fall, they 
are to guard off as many of the women and children as may con- 
veniently leave the place." At the opening of winter, all but 6 men 
were dismissed ; and in January they deserted the fort. 

Aug. 6, thirty Indians came to Winchester and waylaid the road 
over against Benjamin Melvin's house. Several of our men had 
business to pass by, not knowing of the ambush, and were fired upon. 
Joseph Rawson was killed and Amasa Wright wounded ; the rest 
escaped to the fort, though the Indians fired thick after them. The 

1 Man, Archives, LXXII1, 17+. 

The Ola French and Indian War. 247 

same party ambushed the road to Lower Ashuelot. A squad of sol- 
diers was passing, and just as they came where the Indians lay, they 
turned out of the path ; seeing which the Indians supposed that they 
were discovered, and that the English were rounding them in, rose 
up and fled through thick and thin. Ours gave chase, but the Iiv 
dians outran and escaped them. Dea. Wright's Journal. 

August 11. This day the first mischief was done at Northfield. 
The mounts were so situated as to command a view of the entire 
village and the meadows ; and the soldiers in garrison here, together 
with the almost constant passing and repassing of troops had proved 
an effectual protection. Probably most of the families slept at night 
within the different stockades. This morning, the milch cows owned 
at the lower end of the street were sent out to pasture in the south 
lane and the commons beyond Dry Swamp. Just at evening, Benja- 
min Wright (aged 21, son of Remembrance) started on horseback, 
with his gun as usual, to bring them in. He found thenr on the 
Commonwealth, and was following the sound of the bell on the leader 
(as he supposed), when he was fired upon by a small party of Indians 
in ambush. A ball entered his side and came out at the shoulder 
opposite. Wheeling, he supported himself by laying his gun across 
the pommel of the saddle, and reached the street. When opposite 
the house of Seth Field, he was seen to reel ; the horse was stopped, 
and he was carried into the house, where he died about midnight. It 
is a tradition that the Indians watched his funeral from the top or 
Round Knob. 

The same day the Indians were in the thickets east of Merry's 
meadow, and hung up a white flag in sight of Shattuck's fort, proba- 
bly as a decoy; and on the 15th, they shot upon 4 men who were 
near the fort, but without damage. 

Aug. 20, happened one of the most serious events of the war. 
This was the surrender and destruction of Fort Massachusetts at East 
Hoosuck. Serg 1 John Hawks was in command, and had at this time 
a chaplain and 20 men. Three of the men had with them their wives 
and (7) children. The French and Indian army under Gen. Rigaud 
de Vaudreuil numbered 800. After a gallant defence of 24 hours, 
Sergt. Hawks surrendered, for want of ammunition. He had 2 men 
killed ; the rest were carried prisoners to Quebec. The fort was 
burnt. For a full and most interesting account of this affair, see 
" Norton's Redeemed Captive." After the destruction of this fort, 
a detachment of about 30 of Vaudrcuil's Indians came down to Deer- 
field, and on the 25th killed 5, wounded I, and took I captive. 
. Nothing is heard, this fall, of Capt. Melvin and his 50 rangers 

248 History of Northfield, 

with their dogs, only that, as the legislature failed to provide subsist- 
ence for the dogs, Col. Stoddard is ordered, Nov. 12, " to dispose of 
them." The use of dogs is hereafter abandoned, as they proved of 
little service in tracking Indians. 

1 747. This year opened with gloomy prospects for our western 
frontiers. The destruction of Fort Massachusetts, opened the way 
to expeditions that should come by the southern route ; and the dis- 
mantling of No. 4, left the northern route in a measure unguarded. 
And New Hampshire still refused to supply men or means for the 
defence of her river border. 

In February, Capt. Stevens sent a memorial to Gov. Shirley, 
shewing : 

" That he has been employed in the fervice of the government ever fince 
the commencement of the prefent war, and has had confiderable opportunity 
to obferve the methods the French and Indians ufe in carrying it on. And 
would beg leave to fuggeft fome things that appear to me would be profitable 
for the publick. No. 4. is fituate upon Connecticut river about 45 miles above 
Northfield ; on which place (No. 4), the enemy have been continually endea- 
voring to do fpoil, and many great advantages have been loft for want of a 
fuitable number of ibldiers at that garrifon. Fort Maflachufetts (that was) is 
fituate about 34 miles weft from Deerfield, and is the proper road of an enemy 
coming upon our frontiers when they come by Wood Creek and the Drownded 
Lands, as No. 4 is when they come by Otter Creek. Now it appears to me 
thac if too men were early fent to each of thefe polls, fay by the latter end of 
March, and fuitable encouragement was given them to go and waylay the 
ftreams the enemy come upon when they iffue out from Crown Point, they 
might be very much difcouraged in coming in fmall parties as heretofore; 
which in my opinion will be of the greateft fervice to the publick, and the only 
efFe&ual method to carry on the war. If anything be done, it lhould be done 
early in the fpring, as it is evident from paft experience that this enemy will 
be down by the firft of April. There is one thing which I have obferved 
while among the Indians, they are a people which are greatly elated and flamed 
up when they have fuccefs and as foon difcouraged when they are difappointed." 1 

Acting on the idea embodied in his paper, Capt. Stevens started 
with a company of 30 rangers, as soon as the snow was gone, for No 4. 
He found the fort uninjured, and the dog and cat, left alone since 
January, in tolerable condition ; and at once set about making things 
comfortable, and strengthening his defences. 

Mar. 19, Capt. Melvin came to Northfield with a company of 60 
rangers, and made his head-quarters here till September. 

Simultaneously with these movements of our troops, the French 

1 Man. Archivts t LXXlil, 57. 

The Old French and Indian War. 249 

fitted out an immense army, and sent it in large detachments to dif- 
ferent points on the frontier. 

Mar. 30, thirty or forty Indians suddenly appeared at Shattuck's 
fort. In the night they prepared faggots of dried spruce and pitch f 
pine boughs, and placed them against the south end of the fort. 
Then taking some live coals in a kettle covered with a blanket, they 
set the faggots on fire, and soon the south half of the fort was in 
flames, with a strong breeze driving them towards the other half on 
the opposite side of the brook. But suddenly the wind shifted to the 
north, and the garrison, with the aid of the water in the brook, saved 
the north building. Amazed at the sudden change of - the wind, the 
Indians drew ofF, without attempting any further mischief. The 
garrison fired at them, and broke the leg of one. The next day 
Capt. Melvin went up with some of his rangers and some Northfield 
men, and followed the Indians as far as the Great Meadow, where he 
caught sight of them, and shot across the river and killed one. Lieut. 
Jona. Hoyt with 12 men from Deerfield also came up and joined in 
the pursuit. But the Indians had effected a junction with a still 
larger body lying to the north. 

April 1, the General Court adopted an order, that there be pay and 
subsistence allowed for a garrison of 20 men to be posted at North- 
field ; for 20 men in the block-house at Fall-town ; 20 men at a new 
block-house to be built between Fall-town and Colrain ; 20 at Col- 
rain ; 20 at Fort Shirley ; 20 at Fort Pelham ; 20 at a new block- 
house to be built west of Fort Pelham ; and 30 at a block-house to 
be built near where Fort Massachusetts stood ; and that two swivel 
guns be allowed to each block-house except the two west of Pelham, 
which are to be allowed one swivel and one four pounder each. It 
was also ordered that scouts be constantly maintained from one block- 
house to another, and west from Fort Massachusetts ; and that a 
number not exceeding 10 of the inhabitants of Colrain, and 10 of 
those at Green River above Deerfield be kept in the pay of the 

Capt. Stevens had got things in good posture at No. 4, when, 
April 4, he was furiously assaulted by a large French and Indian 
army under Mons. Debeline. The assault and defence were alike 
determined ; and many incidents of the siege equal in valor and bril- 
liancy those renowned in ancient story. The French shot fire 
arrows, and pushed a mantelet loaded with blazing faggots against 
the fort ; but the men inside had dug trenches under the parapet, 
from which they threw water and extinguished the flames. The 

250 History of Northfield. 

siege continued three days ; when finding his task hopeless the 
French commander withdrew. The only casualties to the defenders 
were the slight wounding of Joseph Ely and John Brown. 

A part of Debeline's force steered for Northfield, and lay in am- 
bush to the northward of the town. April 15, a little after sunset 
they killed and scalped Nathaniel Dickinson and Asahel Burt as they 
were bringing the cows home from Pauchaug meadow. They then 
drew off in the night to Winchester and the two Ashuelots, and 
burnt down these three towns which had the winter before been de- 
serted by the inhabitants, because the soldiers were all drawn off. 

The following account of the killing of Mr. Dickinson is given 
by his grand-daughter, Mrs. Polly Holton, now (1873) 93 y ears °W« 
vt According to the town regulations, the meadows were pastured 
only in the fall. But owing to the fact that Indians were known to 
be lurking constantly in the adjacent woods in the autumn of 1746, 
the owners did not venture to drive their cows upon Pauchaug mea- 
dow, and it was thought best to feed it for a while in April. On the 
15th, near sundown Mr. Dickinson and Mr. Burt started on horse- 
back to fetch the cows from the meadow. When going up Pauchaug 
hill near where the monument stands, they were fired upon by the 
Indians. Dickinson's horse was shot and fell, and he came down 
with it. Instantly the savages sprang upon him, tomahawked and 
scalped him. As no guns were allowed to be fired, except when 
Indians were discovered, the report of the fire-arms directly brought 
the people from Dea. Alexander's fort to the spot. Mr. Dick- 
inson's eldest son, Ebenezer, was the first to reach him. Find- 
ing him still alive, he asked, " Father, who shot you ?" He an- 
swered, " Indians," and soon expired. The first intimation of the 
murder received by his wife was when the bleeding body was brought 
to the door. She was then pregnant, and the shock to her nervous 
system can be readily understood. And as a striking example of 
ante-natal impressions, it may be stated that the son, who was named 
Benoni, born some months after, had the greatest dread of fire-arms, 
and could not be induced to use them. He could never listen to any 
tale of Indian warfare ; and when drafted into the Revolutionary 
army, the officers, being informed of his inability to bear arms, 
assigned him a place in the commissary department. He was also 
averse to taking the life of any creature. And even to old age he 
was never known to voluntarily speak of his father's death. 

It appears that Burt's horse was also killed, and that he made an 
attempt to escape by going back to the meadow, but was overtaken 
at the foot of the hill a few rods to the north, where he was scalped. 

The Old French and Indian War. 


Dickinson's horse was on the right hand as they travelled, and his 
body was found lying a little outside of the road bed. A rude stone 
was set on the exact spot. Burt's body was in the road, so that a 
stone could not be placed on the spot ; and for convenience it was 
set close beside that to Dickinson. Both have disappeared -, and. a 

substantial granite monument has been erected 
by some of Dickinson's great-grand children. 
It stands on the opposite side of the way and 
about two rods to the northward of the spot 
where Dickinson was scalped. 

When news of the killing of these men 
reached Boston, the governor immediately, 
April 21, communicates the intelligence to the 
legislature, and issues orders to Capt. Thomas 
Cheney of Dudley to march with his com- 
■ pany of 60 troopers to Northfield. He 
staid here and at Hinsdell's fort a short time. 
The horses were billeted on our farmers, 
for which they got no pay. The bill for the subsistence of the 
company on the march of 60 miles up and return was 75 pounds 
old tenor. Capt. Cheney also paid Col. Hinsdell for powder and ball 
4 pounds 3 shillings 2 pence. 

April 23. The General Court passed an order providing that two 
companies of- 42 men each should be stationed at Northfield — the 
said companies to perform alternately marches of 14 days in ranging 
the woods, and on duty at the forts and guarding the inhabitants in 
their labors. But the order was not carried into effect. And as an 
illustration of the " changing of schemes" — alluded to by Mr. Doo- 
little — 4 that so weakened our efforts in the prosecution of this war, 
it may here be noted that the General Court on the first of April or- 
dered a line of block -houses to be built, from Northfield east to Towns- 
end, to be located 4 miles apart, and fully equipped and manned. A 
committee was appointed to carry the project into execution. As 
soon as the plan became known at Northfield, a town meeting was 
called and a committee chosen " to confer and discourse with the Gen- 
eral Court's committee respecting the place of setting the block-house 
in this town, and to transact whatever may be thought necessary and 
proper in that affair." In a few days the legislature reconsidered its 
action ; then re-ordered the building of the forts ; then reconsidered, 
and the project fell through. The following letter from Col. Stod- 
dard to Gov. Shirley, dated April 22, '47, throws some light on the 
matter : u I perceive that the Indians are continually about Northfield, 

252 History of Northfield. 

and the people there are in a great measure confined to the town. * * 
When I was at Hadley last Friday, I mentioned to Col. Dwight the 
taking care of the men at No. 4, but he giving me a short answer, I 
said no more to him. * * Mr. Alvord told me that last Monday 
morning, he sent several letters to Col. Dwight at Hatfield, and I have 
heard several times that he had orders for sending a guard to cover the 
workmen in building the fortifications, and concluded he would meet 
the committee and advise with them ; but I hear that yesterday after- 
noon he set off for Brookfield without saying anything to either of us." x 
The real heroes of this, as of most wars, were the men who either 
singly or in small squads, penetrated into the enemy's country to seek 
information and make reprisals. A few, or even one such man, in a 
garrison or town, would keep up the spirits of the rest, and inspire 
confidence, and give a sense of safety. We always read over care- 
fully the list of such adventurers ; and their names are cherished with a 
reverential regard, which never attaches to mere rank and official glory. 
May 15, a scout of 7 men, viz. Lt. Elias Alexander, Ens. John 
Sergeant, Joseph Petty, Thomas Taylor, Eleazar Stratton, Daniel 
Brooks and Jonathan San well, started to range the woods and make 
discovery of the enemy. They went up as far as Otter Creek, and 
returned June 8. 

Forty of Capt. Melvin's men at Northfield had been detached for 
garrison duty at Fort Dummer, which left only 20 men as a perma- 
nent guard ; and the inhabitants were thus liable to be called upon, 
at this busy season, to watch and ward at the mounts. June 6, Mr. 
Doolittle in behalf of the town, sent a petition to the General Court, 
representing their present exposed condition, and praying that they 
may be allowed some swivel guns and ammunition from the Province, 
to be placed in their forts as a protection against the Indian enemy. 
The petition was read and committed ; but no definite action resulted. 
July 15, Eliakim Sheldon was shot and mortally wounded, as he 
was hoeing corn in his field, at Fall-town ; and a young man was 
shot through the body in two places, while travelling the road between 
Fall-town and Northfield. 

Aug. 4, a bold adventure was undertaken and carried out by a 
small scout, consisting of Matthew Clesson and Martin Severance 
of Deerfield, Moses Harvey of Sunderland, 3 Aaron Terry of Spring- 
field and Aaron Belding of Northfield. They went up to and tra- 
versed the Black river, " to discover the motions of the enemy, and 

1 Mau. Archi-vu, nil, 130. 

1 April 12, 1746, Moses Harvey was shot at by the Indians as he was passing between 
Northfield and Deerfield, the ball passing thro' the rim of his hat ; he returned the fire, and 
hurried on. 

The Old French and Indian War. 

2 53 

see if they were fortifying on or near the same, as had been reported." 
They were out 22 days. Clesson, who was pilot, received <£8 5 ; the 
others received £5 5 each. 

Sieur Raimbault. — An event of much interest to Northfleld, hap- 
pened October 16. The following account is compiled from Rev. Mr. 
Doolittle's Narrative, and papers still preserved in the Alexander family. 

As Capt. Josiah Willard Jr., Capt. Ebenezer Alexander and Dr. 
Hall were coming from Ashuelot to Northfleld, when a little south 
of the Ashuelot river in Winchester they met some cattle running as 
if being driven off. Carefully reconnoitering, Capt. Alexander being 
foremost saw a Frenchman in the path coming towards them. When he 
saw our men he jumped out of the path behind a tree. Capt. A. fired 
and shot him in the breast. The Frenchman at once came up to 
him and saluted him handsomely, but he soon grew faint, and as our 
men supposed he was dying, they being afraid the Indians were 
near made haste and left him. After our men were gone, the 
Indians, attracted by the report of the gun, came to him, and he 
revived. They carried him to the bank of the stream, where he 
again fainted ; and fearing the English would pursue them, left him 
and made off for Canada, where they reported him dead. He revived 
again ; and a few days after in wandering about he struck the road 
to Northfleld about 5 miles from the village, which he followed and 
came in in an almost famished condition, having lived on cranberries 
and nuts. The first man he met was Capt. Alexander, to whom he 
resigned himself prisoner. Among his papers was the following 

" I command aufieur Raimbault, cadet in the Troop, to go at the head of 
forty lavages to the cities of the government of Orange, in order to make war 
againft our enemies of whatever nation they be, armed as warriors ; charging 
him to reftrain as far as he may be able the favages accuftomed to practice out- 
rages againft the prifoners whom they take. 

Montreal 27 Septem. 1747. Signed, Bonberthelot. 

The cadet was put under the care of Mr. Doolittle, by whose skill 
his wound was soon cured. When he had fully regained his strength 
he was taken to Boston by Capt. Alexander, where he received kind 
treatment by the authorities. He engaged to use his influence for an 
advantageous exchange of prisoners, and preparations were made to 
send him home. 

Feb. 8, Lt. John Hawks, Lt. Matthew Clesson and John Taylor 
of Deerfield started with Raimbault for Canada. They made the 
journey on snow-shoes, carrying their provisions on their backs. 
They went by way of No. 4, up the Black river, down Otter Creek, 

254 History of Northfield. 

and to Crown Point and so on the usual course over Lake Champlain. 
After much difficulty and many delays, they secured two captives, 
Samuel Allen of Deerfield and Nathan Blake of Keene, and returned 
nearly on their outward route, reaching home April 30. 

May 3, Sieur Raimbault, or Sieur Simblin, as he is sometimes 
named, was sent out with a party of 2 Canadians and 9 upper country 
Indians on a war expedition against our frontiers, and returned June 
19 with five scalps. 

Oct. 19, 1747. A party of Indians lay in ambush where the 
country road between Northfield and Sunderland crossed Miller's 
river ; killed and scalped John Smead of Sunderland as he was re- 
turning home from Northfield. The history of this family is strangely 
interesting. He, with his wife and 5 children, was in garrison 
at Fort Massachusetts, when that place was surrendered to the 
French Aug. 20, 1746, and of course all were made prisoners. His 
wife was delivered of her 6th child in the woods, on the second night 
after the capitulation. The child was called Captivity, and died at 
the age of 9 months in Quebec. His wife died March 28. His 
son John Jr. died April 8. His son Daniel, then a young man, died 
May 13. With his remaining children be returned from captivity 
and reached Boston August 16, two months and three days before 
he met his death, as above. 

Oct. 22. About 40 Indians came to Bridgman's fort. They took 
Jonathan Sartwell, as he was going from Col. Hinsdell's fort into the 
woods on the west side of the river. The only further record is, 
" they set fire to and burnt down the fort and Capt. Bridgman's 
house and barn." 

This finished the season's work of destruction in our immediate 
neighborhood. When the garrison which had been posted at No. 4, 
was relieved Nov. 14, a squad of 12 of the soldiers passing down the 
river, was fired upon by Indians almost before they were out of sight 
of the fort, and Nathaniel Gould and Thomas Goodale were killed, 
Oliver Avery wounded, and John Henderson taken. 

Capt. Phinehas Stevens, with a company of 60 men went into win- 
ter quarters at No. 4 ; Capt. Josiah Willard Jr. with 26 men was 
stationed at Upper Ashuelot ; Capt. Ephraim Williams Jr. with a 
large company was posted at Fort Massachusetts, which had been re- 
built ; Lt. John Catlin with 39 men was posted at Fort Shirley ; and 
Lt. Daniel Severance with 42 men at Colrain. Lt. Elias Alexander, 
Sergt. John Burk, Sergt. Caleb How, Dr. Bildad Andros and his son 
Nathaniel, Titus Belding, Josiah Foster, Eleazar Holton, John 
Henry, Joshua Gerry, of Northfield or associated with our annals, James 

The Old French and Indian War. 255 

Johnson, James Holden, Stephen Johnson, Daniel McKeeney, 
Joseph Perry, Eleazar Priest, Ebenr. Scott, Charles Stevens, Joshua 
Train, Matthew Wyman, Moses Walker, were with Capt. Stevens. 
Lt. Wm. Syms, Corp. Wm. Smead, Thomas Crisson Sen. and Jun., 
Benoni Wright, Hezekiah Elmer, Joseph Alexander, Benj. Melvin, 
Thomas Taylor, James, Samuel and William Heaton, Asahel Graves, 
Jethro Wheeler, William Grimes, and others were with Capt. Wil- 
lard. On the roll of Lt. Catlin's men, Dec. 10, '47, to June 10, '48, 
are Amariah Wright of Northfield, Daniel Brewer, William Hutson, 
Isaac How and John Harris of Framingham, William Crisson of 
Ashuelot, Thomas Waban of Sherborn, John Fitch of Natick, et als. 
Sergt. Ebenezer Stratton, Beriah Grandy, Ebenezer Wright and Rich- 
ard Chamberlain, of Northfield, William Orvisand Martin Ashley of 
Winchester, James Taylor of Sudbury, Francis Pierce of Hopkinton, 
and others, were with Lieut. Severance, who also was of Northfield. 

1748. A New School House. — At a town meeting held Jan. 18, 
the town voted to build a new school-house, and chose a committee 
to erect the new and dispose of the old one. This house was set in 
the main street, a little north of the meeting house. 

There was evidently, on both sides, the feeling and the determina- 
tion, that this should be the eventful year of the war. Both powers 
made preparations for an early opening of the campaign. Each was 
determined to strike the first blow. 

The small number of soldiers posted at Northfield the year before, 
had obliged the inhabitants to do garrison duty, and neglect their fields, 
and the consequence was great scarcity of provisions. And they felt 
that, without better protection the coming spring, they must send their 
families away for safety. They appealed to Col. Stoddard : and he 
sent the following letter, dated Mar. r,to Gov. Shirley : " I perceive 
that the government- have allowed more men to Hoosick and No. 4, 
than can (as I suppose possibly) be subsisted there, unless earlier care 
had been taken ; but find no provision made for Deerfield and North- 
field, and some other places more eminently exposed, where the people 
have for some time been waiting to see what provision will be made 
for their safety, that they may be able to determine whether to tarry 
or to remove to places of more safety, which many seem resolute to 
do, unless they are allowed much greater numbers of men than 'tis 
probable the government will allow them. Those people, for want 
of being seasonably guarded last spring, could not sow, and neces- 
sarily could not reap, and so are now obliged to go as far as Westfield 
to buy provisions for their families, which they could have raised in 

256 History of Northfield. 

abundance, if protection had been seasonably sent them ; The con- 
sequences of these places being deserted have been so often mentioned 
by me, that I am ashamed oftener to repeat them." * * * 

In consequence of this appeal, a bounty of ,£5, was offered to 
men who would enlist for one year. And Mar. 7, orders were 
issued for the posting of soldiers, as follows : at Fort Pelham, 30 ; 
Fort Shirley, 30; Colrain, 15 including 10 inhabitants; Morrison's, 
20 ; Fall-Town, 20 including 6 inhabitants ; Green River, 10 j 
Road-town, 10 including 5 inhabitants j New Salem, 10 includ- 
ing 5 inhabitants ; Fort Dummer, 20 ; the Ashuelots, 25 each. 
There were already in garrison at Fort Massachusetts, 42 men ; and 
at No. 4, 60 men. And the governor was instructed by the legisla- 
ture to send to Connecticut for 200 men, of whom 60 were to go 
into garrison at Deerfield, and 60 at Northfield. The Connecticut 
government responded favorably ; and Capt. Leeds and his company 
from Hartford came up to Northfield about the middle of April, and 
staid through the spring and most of the summer. But they would 
do only garrison and guard duty ; refusing to go above the line ; and 
refusing to obey military orders, except from the Conn, authorities. 

Although a large company was in garrison at No. 4, snow-shoes — 
an essential for winter service — had not been furnished them. 
Learning this fact, and knowing the helplessness of the soldiers to 
pursue, a party of about 20 Indians came down on the deep snow, 
and March 15, attacked 8 men who had gone about 60 rods from the 
fort to cut wood. Charles Stevens, son of Capt. Phinehas, was killed, 
Nathaniel Andros wounded, and Eleazar Priest taken captive. 

Roll 0/ Capt. Jojtab Willard': Co. at Ftrt Dummer, Feb. 12, to July 1, 1748. 

Capt. Jofiah Willard Daniel Elmer 

Lieut. John Sergeant Simeon Knight 

Sergt. Nathan Willard Robert Cooper 

" William Willard Jofeph Willard 

Clerk. Oliver Willard Andrew Gardner Jr. 

Samuel Afhley Wilder Willard 

Jofhua Wells Valentine Butler 

Daniel Sergeant John Alexander 

Ebenezer Putnam Jofeph Rofe 

Robert Baffbrd Ebenezer Alexander Jr. 

Mofes Brewer Simon Willard 

Eleazar Stratton John Fletcher 

Mofes Cooper Andrew Gardner Sen. Chaplain 

Hezckiah Elmer Jofeph Kellogg, Interpreter. 

The Old French and Indian War. 257 

March 29, Lieut. John Sergeant, his son Daniel, Moses Cooper, 
Joshua Wells and another, started from Fort Dummer down the 
scout path to Colrain, for the purpose of cutting some ash timber for 
oars and paddles. When . a little more than a mile from the fort, 
they were fired upon by an ambush of 12 or 15 Indians. Moses 
Cooper was mortally wounded at the first fire, but managed with the 
help of a comrade to reach the fort. Lieut. Sergeant and the two 
others retreated slowly, firing as they went. The woods were thick 
and the savages well covered. Wells was soon killed. The Lieut, 
encouraged his son with the assurance that help would be sent from 
the fort ; dared the skulking enemy to come out and fight like men, 
and firing as often as an Indian showed himself. When near the fort, 
Lieut. S. was killed and his son taken captive. 

The next day, a company of 7 Northfield men, Capt. Ebenezer 
Alexander, Aaron Belding, Moses Wright, Moses 'Dickinson, Robert 
Cooper, Thomas Alexander and Jonathan Belding, went up to Fort 
Dummer, found and buried the lieutenant and his comrade. 

Lieut. Sergeant's life had been an eventful one. In a petition to 
the General Court, dated Nov. 29, 1738, asking for a grant of land, 
he says : About the beginning of Queen Anne's War, y f petitioner's 
father [Digory Sergeant] then [1704] living in Worcester, had the 
misfortune, with your petitioner's mother and one brother, to be 
killed by the Indian enemy : At which time y f petitioner with 5 bro- 
thers and sisters were taken into captivity, where y r petitioner re- 
mained 12 or 13 years. When inclined to go home met with great 
opposition as well from the papists as Indians : Yet he came home 
and was at the sole cost of his redemption : That upon his arrival 
into this bis native country he was put into the service under Capt. 
Kellogg, [and afterwards under Capt. Willard] and so remains to this 
time: That he has been three times to Canada in the service of the 
Province since his redemption ; and when the Truck-house [one of 
the small houses within the stockade] was burnt in 1737, he lost 
greatly." 1 A grant of 200 acres above Northfield was made by the 
legislature. The land appears to have been laid out at the lower end 
of Fort Dummer meadow. He built a house on this grant, where 
his family was living at the time of his death. In 1763, Wid. Abi- 
gail and the other heirs sold the estate to Capt. Samuel Hunt of 
Northfield. It is described in the deed as " 161 acres with builJings 
thereon, which was a grant to the proprietors of Lunenburg in f 73 r ." 

The following petition of Col. Josiah Willard will explain why no 
help was sent to Lieut. Sergeant, and throw light on matters directly 
connected with our annals. 

' Matt. ArcAivety LXXii, 470, also lxxi, 765. 

258 History of Northfield. 

" Fort Dummer, April 5, 1748. 
" May it plcafe y r Excellency and Honors : 

" Thefe come humbly to inform you that fome time ago I was appointed fub- 
commiflary to take care of billeting the foldiers at Northfield and above the 
line upon Conn, river ; and according to the belt of my flcill I have faithfully 
ferved my country therein hitherto, tho' it has been attended with the utmoft 
difficulty and trouble. The people of Northfield were very unwilling to billet 
foldiersfor lefs than others did, as they had been forced to do before, when they 
come by their provifions very dearly and were forced to buy of other towns 
and bring up to Northfield to billet fo many men as patted and repaired, and 
the fcouts from Northfield to Townsend. I therefore told them that they might 
depend on it to have equal juftice with their neighbors confidering their circum- 
ftances. But I would give them 26 (hillings per week (old tenor) but hoped they 
would be confidered and have more ; but by information learn that the General 
Court in their laft (effion have granted them but 25 (hillings per week and to Deer- 
field 28 (hillings from whom Northfield has been fupplied with provifions, and 
to Fall-town their next neighbor 30 (hillings. Now it is well known that it is 
impoffible for Northfield to billet cheaper than either of thefe places and hardly 
fo cheap ; befides they have been kept out of their money fo long till provifions 
are near double in the price ; if their money had been paid laft September they 
could have fupplied themfelves with provifions for this year for little more than 
half what they muft now give. And they have not their money yet : and this 
is very finking and difcouraging to y a people ; and therefore pray that they may 
have equal juftice and mercy with the reft of their neighbors, and chat they may 
not be fingled out to be borne down and diftreflbd under their difficulties. I 
humbly pray it may be confidered that others have had 30 (hillings per week 
when they have raifed all their own provifions, and at the fame time Fort Dum- 
mer has had but 24 (hillings tho' they fetch their provifions 50 miles. I pray 
it may be further confidered what great difcouragements are laid in my way of 
providing a fupply for No. 4, and other garrifons. If I am rightly informed 
the legiflature have granted but 20 men to Fort Dummer, which renders it im- 
poffible to have guards to bring or carry (lores ; and the men are fo few at 
Northfield that it is impoffible to have men from thence at any price at all ; and 
I can hear nothing of Capt. Hobbs's men ordered to No. 4 ; and No. 4 muft 
fuffer for want of provifions ; and befides this, I am often ordered to keep up 
a fcout to Colrain, and fometimes out weft of Fort Dummer; all which things 
are impoffible to be done with 20 men. I defire alfo to inform that I have 
but 600 pounds Province money in my hands to fupply No. 4 for fix months 
paft and to fupply No. + , the Aftiuelots and Fort Dummer for the future. I 
defire alfo further to inform that by his Excellency's dire&ion to me given to 
enlift 20 men for Fort Dummer until men could be prefled and fent up. 
Of prefled men I have but one ; and two that did enlift have gone away not 
thinking themfelves obliged to tarry any longer ; and when thofe 5 men were 
gone out for timber to make oars and paddles for the boat and canoe, I had 
but 8 men left befides what were fick with the mealies when the enemy made 

The Old French and Indian War. 259 

their attack on thefe 5 men, 3 of whom they killed and took another captive. * 
No. 4 was not fuppiied with provifions before winter fet in ; and the fnow 
coming fo foon after the river was froze and fo deep, and the river not ftrong 
enough to drive up provifions, that I was forced to have it carried upon Indian 
fleys, there being no poffible pafling by land." . 

"In the Houfe of Reprefentatives April 14. Read, and ordered, that thofe 
pcrfons in the town of Northfield who have billeted foldiers by agreement with 
the within named Jofiah Willard, be allowed 7 (hillings [new tenor] per week 
for said billeting. And that the Commiflary General be directed to take fpeedy 
and effectual care that the forts mentioned be fuppiied with provifions in the 
belt manner he is able." 

Letter from Col. Stoddard dated April 1 1, 1748. 

" I was fending Col. Tyng's 22 men to Afhuelot ; but confidering that their 
bufinefs was chiefly to defend a garrifon, and that the diftrefs of the people at 
Northfield [from the non-arrival of the Conn, troops] was great, and that their 
circumftances did inconceivably more demand heTp, they having no foldiers, I 
directed them to tarry there a few days, till I could know whether they were 
likely to have men any other way. 

" A Northfield man was with me a few days ago, and tells me that there are 
9 or 10 men chiefly belonging to that place that are defirous to go in quell of 
the enemy fometime in this month. They propofe to go till they meet with 
fome of them, and if they have not an opportunity fooner to go into Canada. 
They are fome of the likciicir. men in our county ; and having no opportunity 
to wait upon the Court to afk their encouragement, they propofe, if y r Excel- 
lency approve of their going, to proceed on their journey, and trait to the gene- 
rality of the government when they return. But what they are defirous of is 
that they may have the fame encouragement that Capt. Melvin's men have, if 
the government think they defcrve it." 

The governor replied April 20, approving of the propofed fcout, and fent a 
blank commiflion, to be filled out, when the proper man to command it mould 
be determined on. But the plan lingered ; and the men joined Capt. Melvin's 

Roll of Capt. Eleazar Melvins Co. of Rangers, from Mar. 26, to 

June 13, 1748. 

Cape E. Melvin, John Bell, Nath 1 Fofter, 

Lt. John Fletcher, Reuben Kidder, Nathan Collar, 

Ens. Benj. Roff", Jofeph Kidder, Afa Merritt, 

Serg. Aaron Ward, Nath 1 Boynton, Mofes Wright, 

" Jonas Holden, Edmond Jordan, Daniel Ma:.n, 

" John Howard, Oba. Wood, Jofeph Petty, 

" Ifaac Taylor, Jofeph Wilfon, Samuel Severance, 

Clerk, John Dodd, Benj. Hoar, John Stratton. 

Thomas Fletcher, 

260 History of Northfield. 

Capt. Melvin's Scout. — Having made his preparations, Capt. 
Melvin selected 18 of his best men, including the 4 from Northfield, 
and started from Fort Dummer May 13, camped that night at No. 
2 ; and the next day reached No. 4. Here he was joined by Capts. 
Stevens and Hobbs, with 60 men ; and on Sabbath evening about 
sunset started for the mouth -of Black river. The united force fol- 
lowed up the Indian road along the banks of this stream, and crossing 
the divide, struck the main branch of Otter Creek, where the party 
separated, as had been previously arranged. Capts. Stevens and Hobbs 
and their men went down on the east side of Otter Creek, while 
Capt. Melvin crossed the stream and set out for Crown Point. He 
discovered signs of the enemy, and came upon a deserted camp ; but 
reached the shore of the Lake without opposition. When nearly 
opposite Crown Point, he discovered two canoes with Indians, one of 
them about 60 rods from the shore. Going in plain view of the fort, 
he fired several volleys into the canoe. This bold defiance to the 
garrison, with his small band, was heroic, but imprudent. A force 
of not less than 150 Indians at once started to intercept him. This 
was May 25. Capt. Melvin now made haste to return. The next 
day, finding the savages on his trail, he struck for the south branch 
of Otter Creek, and on the 30th crossed the height of land and came 
upon a branch of West river. Supposing they had foiled their pur- 
suers, and being weary and faint, they halted at half past nine in the 
morning of the 31st, on the banks of West river, took off their packs, 
and while some were lunching, others begun shooting the salmon 
then passing up the stream. Of a sudden, the Indians poured in a 
volley from behind some logs and trees not more than 40 feet dis- 
tant. Melvin's men fired and scattered. The Captain himself ran 
down the river, and up the opposite bank closely pursued. His belt 
was carried away by a shot or the stroke of a hatchet, by which he 
lose all his bullets but one. The rout of his men was complete. 
Melvin got into Fort Dummer about noon the next day ; one of his 
men had already come in, and eleven more arrived before night. 

Six of Melvin's party were killed outright : viz. Sergts. Howard 
and Taylor, John Dodd, Daniel Mann and Samuel Severance. 
Joseph Petty was so severely wounded as to be unable to travel. 
His comrades got him to a spring, where they put some pine boughs 
for him to lie on, and set up others as a sort of wind-break, placed a 
pint cup of water in reach, and told him to live if be could, till they 
should return with help. 

Word got to Northfield by the middle of the afternoon on the 1st, 
and Mr. Doolittle sent a messenger with a letter to Hatfield that 

The Old French and Indian War. 


night. About 30 of the inhabitants of Northampton, Hadley, Hat- 
field and Deerfield rallied, and with such of the soldiers as could be 
spared from Deerfield and Fall-town, and a number of men from 
Northfield, reached Fort Dummer on the 2d ; but Capt. Stevens 
with a large force of his men coming in opportunely, the men from 
below returned home, and Capt S. at once started for the scene of 
Melvin's disaster. They found and buried all the dead except Sergt. 
Petty. As he was one of the most respected citizens of Northfield, 
our people resolved to know his fate. A company was at once or- 
ganized consisting of Lieut. Samuel Hunt, Lieut. Ebenezer Alexander, 
Lieut. William Wright, Lieut. Benoni Wright, Sergt. Phinehas 
Wright, Corp. Moses Field, Moses Smith, Moses Dickinson, Moses 
Belding, Peter Evens, Daniel Brooks, Gaius Field, Simeon Lyman, 
Thomas Stebbins, Dr. Ebenezer Field, Moses Wright. They started 
June 5, going on horse- back, and were out 4 days. They found 
the body and buried it. This fight took place about 33 miles from 
Fort Dummer up West river. Hall, in his History of Eastern Ver- 
mont, locates it within the bounds of Londonderry, Vt. 

In view of this afflictive Providence, and the sickness then pre- 
vailing in the town, a fast was appointed and held at Northfield 
Thursday June 16, at which Rev. Mr. Ashley of Deerfield preached. 

For convenience of reference in studying the events of the next 
few weeks, the following muster-roll is inserted here. 

Roll of Capt. Joftab Willard 

Capt. Jofiah Willard Jr. 
Lieut. William Syms, 
Sergt. Thomas Taylor, 
^ " William Sraead, 
Clerk, Jeremiah Hall, 
Corp. Thomas CrifTon, 
" Benoni Wright, 
Timothy Fletcher, 
John Ellis, 
Wm. Bickford, 
Reuben Walker, 
Jona. French, 
Daniel How Jr., 
Eben r Fletcher, 
Robert Ewers, 
John Edgchill, 
John Robert, 
Aaron Ward, 
John Froft, 
Benj. Barrett,. 
Sam 1 Hoflinton, 
Henry Chandler, 

Jr's Co. at JJbuelot, Feb. 
Thomas Criflbn Jr., 
Nath 1 Fairbanks, 
Jethro Wheeler, 
James Jewell, 
Hczekiah Elmer, 
Samuel Hill, 
David Nims, 
David Bacon, 
Wm. Blanchard, 
Matthew Wyman, 
Jos. Richardfon, 
William Hunt, 
Thomas Thoyets, 
John Evens, 
James Burt, 
Jeremiah Butler, 
Robert Tyler, 
Samuel Hall, 
William Hill, 
James Billing, 
Simeon Green, 

10, to Oct. 26, 1748. 

Nathaniel Hills, 
Afahcl Graves, 
Benj. Nichols, 
Thomas Robbins, 
Jofiah Cromy, 
Jofeph Barron, 
Wm. Livingllon, 
Benj. Hoagg, 
Henry Stevens, 
Joel Johnfon, 
Elijah Holton, 
T onas Holton, 
Ifaac Rice, 
James Eaton, 
John Scott, 
Andrew A Hard, 
Eliph. Corbin, 
John Henry, 
Benjamin Ofgood, 
Jona. Lawrence Jr. 
John Pullard. 

262 History of Northfield. 

June 16. A squad consisting of 12 of Capt. Willard's men and 2 
of Capt. Hobbs's rangers, in going from Ashuelot to Fort Dummer 
by way of Col. Hinsdell's fort, was waylaid opposite the mouth of 
Broad brook by a large party of Indians. The ambush was not dis- 
covered : and our men were taken by surprise. Three were killed 
and scalped, viz. Joseph Richardson, John Frost and Jonathan French 
all of Billerica ; seven were taken prisoners, one of whom, Wm. 
Bickford, was killed where the Indians camped the first night, and his 
body found and buried a month later. Four escaped across the river 
to Fort Dummer, one of whom, Daniel Farmer, a ranger, was 
severely wounded in the thigh, and was brought on a horse the next 
day to Northfield to be treated by Mr. Doolittle. 

In answer to " the Great Gun " at Fort Dummer, a relief party 
immediately started from Northfield. It consisted of Capt. Ebenezer 
Alexander, Lt. Hezekiah Stratton, Lt. William Wright, Sergt. Phi- 
nehas Wright, Benj. Brooks, Eben' Field Jr., Moses Evens, Lucius 
Doolittle, Simeon Alexander, Thomas Alexander, Moses Dickinson, 
Jonathan Belding, Israel Warner, Samuel Stratton, William Holton, 
Daniel Brooks. They found and buried the three dead bodies, and 
scoured the country to the east and north in search of wounded men. 
They " found great signs of the enemy," showing that a large body 
had been ambushing Hinsdell's and Fort Dummer for several days. 

Of the captives, Mark Perkins of Concord, a ranger, returned 
home in October, Matthew Wyman of Dorchester returned Oct. 5, 
Benj. Osgood of Billerica, and Wm. Blanchard of Dunstable reached 
home Oct. 15, Henry Stevens of Chelmsford returned Nov. 12 ; 
Joel Johnson of Woburn got home early in October. All the pri- 
soners were stripped of their arms, and most of their clothing at the 
first camping place. They reached Canada about the first of July. 
Stevens was thrown into prison, where he lay till Aug. 27. Johnson 
was made "to run the gauntlet," as were Wyman, Blanchard and 
Osgood, and all were feeble, emaciated, and unfit for labor on their 
return. Osgood died in a few weeks from the effects of abuse and 
want of proper nourishment during his captivity. 

A Dark Time. — These were dark days to our people on the 
frontier. The attacks made in such rapid succession, and the signs 
discovered on all sides showed that the Indians were abroad in great 
force. The full foliage of the underbrush gave them secure cover ; 
and their uniform success gave them courage. And they had learned 
the peculiar tactics of each of our captains and commanders of forts. 
They knew where to look for carelessness, and recklessness, and 

The Old French and Indian War. 263 

cowardice, and want of foresight. They knew the condition of each 
garrison ; and when they set an ambush, they knew whether a relief 
party might be expected promptly or tardily. 

And added to the other difficulties of our situation in the valley, at 
this juncture on June 19, Col. Stoddard died. He was an experi- 
enced and efficient officer ; and had in a high degree the confidence 
of the people and the authorities. His second in command, Lieut. 
Col. Eleazar Porter, in the opinion of those best qualified to judge, 
" had not a genius for war." He. was however appointed colonel, 
with the expectation that he would decline, which he did after a few 
months ; and Nov. 16, Maj. Israel Williams of Hatfield was placed 
at the head of the Hampshire regiment. Col. Porter's friends claimed 
that he was not fairly treated by the governor, which helped further 
to complicate matters, at this critical time. Col. Williams was a man 
of mark, and an able officer ; but he was a man of positive ideas and 
plain words, and was unpopular with the other regimental command- 
ers, and with his subordinates. The Connecticut officers at North- 
field and Hinsdell's fort positively refused to obey his orders. Extracts 
from his letters, to be shortly given, will indicate the peculiarities of 
his temper and manners. 

Such disagreeable facts are commonly left out of histories, and the 
bright side of things presented. But issues turn on mistakes and 
jealousies and insubordination, as often as on foresight and fidelity. 
And to leave out all the frailties and frictions is to hide the secret 
springs of actions and events, and render much of both written and 
unwritten history incomprehensible. 

Capt, Hobbs's Expedition. — The disaster which happened to 
Capt. Melvin's company, did not appear to dampen the spirits of the 
scouts. He was able to promptly recruit a new company of 26 men. 
The service, with all its hazards, was tempting ; and men readily 
become inured to danger ; and through a community of interest, are 
ambitious to avenge the past. Capt. Humphrey Hobbs, with a com- 
pany of Rangers had headquarters at No. 4. The roll of his com- 
pany (given for purposes of reference) is as follows : 

Capt. Humphrey Hobbs, Corp. Samuel Nutting, Oba. More, 

Lieut. Ifaac Parker, " James Marvel, Thomas Wulkup, 

'* Wm. Peabody, " Enos Town, Uriah Morfe, 

Ens. AIex r . Stuart, Thomas Robinfon, Nathan Walker, 

Sergt. Eleazar Collar, '. Eli Scott, Henry Pudney, 

" Mofcs Willard, ■- Samuel Graves, Jr. Nach 1 Slieple, 

" Mofes Wheeler, Rich. Cree, Aaron Holiner, 


History of Northfield. 

Richard Watts, 
Benj. Taylor, 
Jacob Nutting, 
William Durant, 
Ifaac Davis, 
Jona. Parker, 
Abel Farrar, 
Noah Curtis, 
Samuel Flint, 
Samuel Tutos, 
Samu.l Gunn, 
Dan 1 McKceney, 
Benj. Mclntire, 

John Martyn, 
Jonas Fletcher, 
Jethro Ames, 
Amos Wood, 
William Beams, 
Charles McLain, 
Mark Perkins, 
Reuben Brown, 
Jofeph Farwell, 
Daniel Farmer, 
James Farnsworth, 
Jacob Ames, 
Jacob Melvin, 

Nathan Melvin, 
Hugh Linds, 
Ifaac Peabody, 
Ralph Rice, 
Eben r Mitchell, 
Robert Bancroft, 
Daniel Simmons, 
Martin Alhley, 
Simon Holden, 
John Whitney Jr. 
William Burt, 
Nathaniel Sartell, 
Sam 1 ButterAeld. 

Capt. Hobbs with 40 of his men set out from No. 4, Friday June 
24, to scout the woods in a south-westerly direction as far as Fort 
Shirley. On the 26th, they halted at a place about 12 miles west 
from Fort Dummer. It seems that a party of Indians under a half- 
blood named Sacketr, had struck his trail ; but, though unaware of 
any pursuit, Hobbs, who was wary as well as brave, had posted a 
sentinel in his rear, while his men ate their midday lunch. The 
driving in of his picket was the first intimation that danger was near. 
But Hobbs instantly formed his men, ordering each to take his tree 
for cover. The Indians greatly outnumbered the whites : and con- 
trary to their usual caution rushed forward with a shout. They were 
received by a well directed fire, and several fell : when they also 
took shelter behind the trees and shrubs. The two leaders were well 
acquainted. Sackett could speak English, and repeatedly called upon 
his antagonist to surrender, threatening the entire destruction of his 
men in case of refusal. Hobbs bid him defiance ; and dared him to 
come on and take his men. The fight lasted four hours, when by a 
fortunate shot Sackett was wounded. Upon which the Indians with- 
drew, carrying off" their dead and wounded. They retired in silence, 
which meant an acknowledgment of defeat. Hobbs lost 3 men killed, 
viz. Samuel Gunn, Ebenezer Mitchell and Eli Scott. Four were 
wounded ; Samuel Graves Jr. of Sunderland was shot in the fore- 
head, by which his brains came out ; yet he recovered, though he was 
ever after subject to fits ; Daniel McKeeny was shot through the 
thigh and disabled for life ; Nathan Walker of Sudbury had an arm 
broken : and Ralph Rice received a slight wound. 

Hobbs and his men remained in their cover till nightfall, when, 
there being no signs of a renewed attack, they gathered up their 
packs, carried the dead and wounded about half a mile, where the 

The Old French and Indian War. 265 

dead were concealed under some old logs, " as well as we could do 
it in the dark ;" and after marching about two miles further they 
encamped for the night. Starting early in the morning, they reached 
Fort Dummer about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. The wounded p men 
were sent on to Northfield and put under the care of Mr. Doolittle. 
This bold adventure infused a new life into the desponding garri- 
sons and people, and was the theme of universal congratulation. 

Sergt. Taylor's Encounter. — As already intimated, the season 
was unusually sickly. In the early part of July one half of the in- 
habitants and the soldiers in garrison at Northfield were unfit for 
duty ; and the same was true of the garrison at Fort Dummer. This, 
in connection with a spirit of insubordination which showed itself 
among the Connecticut troops posted at Northfield and vicinity, 
made our people exceedingly weak-handed. The last, of June, the 
Chevalier de Repentigny, Ensign of foot, is ordered by the French 
governor at Montreal " to go to war upon the territories of New 
England, with a party of 26 Canadians and 80 Indians, of whom we 
have given him the command." Sieur Raimbault, who had lately 
returned from a successful raid, was attached to this party, and as 
will appear, was of great service in selecting the right place for an 
ambuscade. The equipment of the savages was as follows : 80 
muskets ; 80 breech-clouts ; 80 prs. mittens ; 100 deer skins : 8 lbs. 
vermillion ; 80 wood-cutters knives ; 80 lbs. powder ; 80 lbs. ball ; 
80 fibs, lead-shot ; 80 collars for carrying ; 80 awls ; 80 toma- 
hawks ; 400 flints ; 80 powder horns ; 100 needles ; 3 lbs. thread ; 
80 war -clubs ; 8 axes ; 4 prs. scissors ; 80 lbs. tobacco ; 8 iron 
cooking pots ; 8 canoes ; and 13 day's provisions. This force made 
directly Yor the Connecticut valley ; and took a position on the high- 
lands to the eastward of Fort Dummer. 

A part of Capt. Loomis's company had been in garrison for a 
number of weeks at HinsdelFs fort ; but at this juncture, he with- 
drew them without leave, which left this post with only the resident 
families. Maj. Partridge ordered Capt. Leeds to send 10 of his men 
from Northfield, to keep the place temporarily ; but he refused, 
because Fort Hinsdell was above the Massachusetts line. 

Some new levies and re-enlistments had collected at Northfield ; and 
Sergt. Thomas Taylor, who was stationed at Keene with Capt. Josiah 
Willard Jr.'s company, was sent down to bring up 1 men, to supply the 
place of the 10 killed or taken in the skirmish above Hinsdell's fort 
June 16. 

266 History of Northjield. 

Col. Josiah Willard, then in command at Fort Dummer, reached 
Northfield July 12, on his way from Boston, designing to go on to 
the Fort the next morning. An alarm of Indians seen near Dum- 
mer reached Northfield that night, which induced the sending forward 
of a scout ; and Col. Willard, under a considerable escort of North- 
field men headed by Capt. Eben r Alexander, started for the north 
about noon of the 13th. Meeting Lt. William Wright, one of the 
scouts, who reported that no Indians were found in the neighborhood, 
Capt. Alexander with the main part of the escort returned to North- 
field. Thomas Alexander and 5 or 6 others on horse-back conducted 
the colonel safely through. As they passed the gate at the upper 
end of Merry's meadow, one of the horses became alarmed and res- 
tive, and was with difficulty urged through and forward. They 
learned afterwards that Raimbault and some Indians lay concealed 
only a few yards from this point ; and that he restrained the Indians 
from firing, on the assurance that a larger body of men was soon 
coming along. 

The next morning, being Thursday July 14, Sergt. Taylor with 
his 10 recruits, including Daniel Farmer (one of the wounded in the 
previous engagement, who was healed and returning to duty) and 6 
soldiers belonging to the different garrisons up the river, started for 
Keene by way of Hinsdell's and Fort Dummer. The road as far as 
the upper end of Merry's meadow had been a public highway for 12 
years, and had been a travelled path since 1724. And the constant 
passing of men and teams with stores to Fort Dummer and above, 
which all went by this route, had made a well defined and well worn 
track. At this date, the road crossed Merry's meadow near the 
middle, rose the hill just above the upper brook, passed the west foot 
of the blufF on which Hinsdell's fort stood, and coursing along near 
the top of the meadow hill, struck across the plain by a direct line 
to the river bank nearly opposite the mouth of Broad brook, and so 
to the fordway above. 

Knowing the reported presence of Indians, and remembering the 
fate of the 14, mostly from his own company, who were surprised on 
this same route a month before, Sergt. Taylor marched with an ad- 
vanced guard out on each side of the way. He would naturally look 
for an ambush near the brook below the grist-mill, or at the north 
gate of Merry's meadow ; but this point was safely passed. The 
meadow hill on the left, and the slope, skirting the narrow part of the 
plain for 80 rods above Hinsdell's fort on the right, both of which 
were then well wooded, were favorable covers for an enemy ; but he 
passed safely. The broad plain — in the central part about 60 rods 

The Old French and Indian War. 267 

wide — threatened no danger till he should reach a piece of wet ground 
just against the " Geese Rocks." As he approached the river at this 
point, his left vanguard was drawing in, and his right advance was 
reconnoitering the piece of swampy ground, when his right flank'was 
suddenly assailed by the concealed French and Indians. 

There was a narrow strip of springy land just under the blur?, 30 
rods east of the road, and about the same distance in Taylor's rear, 
then covered with alders and brakes, which afforded a good cover for 
half of Repentigny's force ; and by letting the squad pass completely 
by, he could fall on their rear ; while the other half of his force, 
hidden in the swamp just ahead and in the wooded slopes and broken 
ground above, could intercept their advance, and thus being out- 
flanked in front and rear they were effectually entrapped. And as 
prisoners were more valuable than scalps to both savages and the 
French, it was for their interest to take the men alive. 

Taylor's men immediately right-faced, and returned the enemy's 
fire, when they saw the whole long line closing upon them. " Not 
less than one hundred guns were fired before our men could re-load." 
As their only resource, Taylor's men fled for shelter to the river 
bank. Here was a sharp but short skirmish. The advantage of the 
enemy, both in position and superiority of numbers — 6 to 1 —ren- 
dered resistance useless. 

Our men did some execution. Two Indians were killed outright. 
And the relief party found where the Indians had cut 4 biers on 
which they carried off those too severely wounded to walk. Two of 
Taylor's party were killed on the spot : Asahel Graves of Hatfield 
and Henry Chandler of Westford, who were scalped and stripped of 
arms and clothing. Eleven were taken prisoners. Two made their 
escape back to Hinsdell's fort : and two got to Fort Dummer. One 
of the latter, Robert Cooper, was shot in the left side in two places, 
had a rib fractured and his arm shot through. He and his comrade 
were making the best of their way up under the river bank, when 
a party from Fort Dummer came out, and fired across the river on 
their pursuers, and so guarded them up and across to the fort. 

Two of the captives, Joseph Rose of Northfield, and James Billings 
of Concord, were severely wounded ; and the Indians, after going 
about a mile, halted, and held a consultation. Rose, anticipating his 
fate, as he was unable to travel, begged of Taylor, who could speak 
Indian, to intercede with the savages for his life. But the latter was 
ordered to rise and follow the main body, when the two wounded men 
were knocked on the head with war-clubs. The remaining prisoners 
were conducted up the east side of the river 2 or 3 miles above the 

268 History of Nortbfield. 

mouth of West river, where they crossed at a place called Cats-bane ; 
thence to the lower fork of West river ; thence up said river, over the 
ground where Capt. Melvin's affair happened ; and down the Otter 
creek to Crown Point ; thence to Canada. The Indians halted 
each day, about the middle of the forenoon, at noon, and the 
middle of the afternoon, making on the average 20 miles a day. 
Thomas Taylor was sergeant in Capt. Josiah Willard Jr.'s com- 
pany stationed at Keene ; he returned from captivity and to his post 
Sept. 30. Daniel Farmer of Groton, another captive, was wounded 
in the encounter on the same spot, June 16 ; was cured, and 
returning to duty. Jona. Lawrence Jr. and Ephraim Powers were 
impressed men from Littleton ; the latter was severely wounded 
in the head, and after his return was long disabled from any 
labor. Daniel How Jr. was from Rutland, as was also Thomas 
Crisson Jr. This was How's second captivity. John Edgehill 
was an impressed man from Framingham, where he was living as 
an apprentice to Jacob Pike. He, like the others, lost everything ; 
and was subjected to great hardships, by which he was incapacitated 
from labor. Reuben Walker belonged to Chelmsford. John Henry 
was from Concord. In a petition to the General Court, he says : 
u Your petitioner had 7 bullets shot through his clothes, but escaped 
into a thicket •, when happening to see an Indian seize one of his 
fellow soldiers, he ran up within a few feet of the Indian and shot 
him through the body ; whereupon he was surrounded, and engaged 
the savages with his gun clubbed till it was broken in pieces, when 
he was taken, and carried to Canada, where he remained 2 months 
and 18 days, when he returned home." For killing the said Indian, 
he was barbarously treated both on the march, and while in captivity. 

The prisoners were all sold to the French, who retained them till 
the last of September, when they were released, and returned home. 

After his return to his company, Sergt. Taylor sent a petition to 
the General Court, reciting the facts of the encounter, as above nar- 
rated ; and asking for the bounty offered by the Province — agreeing 
to furnish proof that two Indians at least were killed by his men. 
The legislature after a patient hearing "ordered, that <£ioo be granted 
and paid to y e petitioner, to be equally divided between him and y e 
survivors ; and y e further sum of 50 shillings be allowed y c petitioner 
for his bravery in y 1 action ; also that he be allowed £j for his ex- 
penses in travelling to Boston and attendance on y e Court ; also 26 
shillings and 3 pence be allowed John Henry for his expenses, and 
24 shillings to Daniel How Jr. for his expenses in this affair." How 
and Henry went to Boston as witnesses. 

The Old French and Indian War. 269 

The scene of this encounter was less than a mile below Fort 
Dummer ; and as soon as the report of the first volley was heard by 
the ward at the Fort, the " Great Gun " was fired, to alarm the peo- 
ple and garrisons below, and as a signal that help was needed. The 
reason that no help came from Hinsdell's fort, was, that the soldiers 
posted there had just deserted it. The reason why no help came 
from Dummer, and so little from Northfield is given in the following 
letter, written the next morning by Col. Willard : " Two of Taylor's 
men are got into Fort Dummer ; one is well, the other wounded in 
two places, but we hope not mortal. What is become of y e rest we 
can't tell, and are unable to go and see. The soldiers here [16 in 
all] are so many sick that not one-half are able to do duty. And 
the case is the same and exceedingly difficult at Northfield : for upon 
the alarm, there came but three men last night to see what was done. 
They have in times past at Northfield been very free and ready, 
upon alarm, to come for our help, but are now quite beat out, inso- 
much that I fear we shall not have help to go and see what is done, 
and bury the dead." 

News of the disaster reached Hatfield the next morning ; and Maj. 
Williams immediately sent up a large number of the militia and sol- 
diers from Hatfield, Deerfield and Fall-town, under command of Capt. 
Phinehas Stevens " who happened to be at Deerfield," with orders 
to expel the enemy and range the woods. They were joined at North- 
field by such of the militia as could go under Ens. Hezekiah Stratton. 
Proceeding to the place of the conflict, they found and buried the 
bodies of Graves and Chandler, ' and then followed the enemy's track 
about a mile, when they discovered the bodies of Rose and Billings, 
whom they buried. Receiving orders from Col. Porter, and re-in- 
forcements, many of the officers and soldiers remained at Hinsdell's 
fort ; and on the Sabbath went over to Fort Dummer, where the 
chaplain, Rev. Andrew Gardner preached from Rev. in, 3 ; "If 
therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and 
thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." 

On Monday the party, numbering in all 129 men, followed the 
trail of Taylor's captors, but could not come up with them, though 
the report of guns was heard in the distance. They found and buried 
the body of William Bickford, killed June 16; and returned home 

1 A pair of rude gravestones stood, till within 50 yean, to the east of the " Geese Rocks," 
a few rods from the present river bank. When the land was cleared, the stones were 
plowed uf>, and human bones found underneath. About 3 years since, a lad found a skull 
which had been laid bare by the caving of the bank, near this spot. There is no tradition 
by which to identify the remains. 

270 History of Northfield. 

by way of the scene of Cape Hobbs's fight, burying his three men 
14 which the enemy had not found." 

About 80 years after the fight, Hollis Taylor, a son of Sergt. 
Thomas, set up a small slate stone with suitable inscription by the 
side of the highway, directly east of the spot where he was captured. 
This has disappeared ; and a handsome marble monument has lately 
been erected, a short distance to the north, by Lewis Taylor a grand- 
son of the sergeant. 

iMaj. Israel Williams transmitted an account of Sergt. Taylor's 
encounter to Secretary Willardat Boston, July 15th ; and adds, " Ac- 
cidentally learning that Capt. Loomis designed to withdraw his men 
from Col. Hinsdell's fort, without leave, Capt. Leeds was ordered 
to send 10 of his men from Northfield to keep it for the present, but 
utterly refused, and declared he would obey no orders but from the 
committee of war at Hartford — Tho' orders were given to have his 
men's places supplied, and 10 of Capt. Loomis's men actually went 
to Northfield for that purpose. If that fort [Hinsdell's] must be left 
for the enemy to burn, I should be glad to know it. I know Gov. 
Shirley was fond of its being preserved. It's time we knew who is to 
govern, whether those who have a right to command, or those who 
ought to obey. Since the enemy killed the eleven cattle at Ashuelot 
[on the 8th] and carried off" the meat, they are well furnished to dwell 
amongst us, as it seems they do, and destroy us as fast as they please. 
Something effectual must be done, or the western frontiers are ruined." 
On the 1 6th, Col. Joseph D wight of Brookfield wrote to Secretary 
Willard : " We have accounts of the enemy lying on our borders in 
great numbers. It seems to me high time for the government to ex- 
ert its power, and give more effectual directions to the officers posted 
on the frontiers — if need be, to raise half the militia of the Province. 
But I beg we may have 1000 men to drive the woods and pursue 
the enemy even to Crown Point." 

July 18, the governor issued orders to Col. Porter to raise a strong 
and sufficient guard out of the militia for the succor of the exposed 

About July 22d, Capt. Leeds and his company of Connecticut 
troops were withdrawn from Northfield. 

July 23. The Killing of Aaron Belding. — The Indians had 
their scouts out in all directions ; and as soon as Northfield was left 
without protection, a small party of 6 Indians way-laid Capt. Alex- 
ander's fort at the upper end of the town street. On the morning 
of the 23d, a little before sunrise Aaron Belding started from this 

The Old French and Indian War. 271 

fort to go to his mother's who lived next below Mill brook, and so 
to Dickinson's fort a little further south. Seeing him leave, the In- 
dians by a slight detour intercepted him just north of the brook, and 
fired upon him as he was passing the ledge of rocks which extend out 
into the highway at this point. The shot brought him down ; and 
one of the savages instantly sprang upon him. Mr. Belding recognized 
the Indian as an old acquaintance, and begged him to spare his life. 
But with a curse the Indian drew his knife, cut round his crown, and 
placing one foot on his neck, and clenching the hair with both hands, 
jerked off the scalp entire ; then striking a hatchet into his head he 
left him. The people were generally in bed ; but on hearing the 
report of the Indian's gun the watch gave an alarm ; and the inhabit- 
ants, most of whom lodged in the forts, got out as soon as possible. 
The Indians were seen from Dickinson's fort, as they fled towards 
the east, and fired upon, but received no harm. Belding was alive 
when his brother and others reached him, and was sufficiently con- 
scious to give some of the above particulars, but died soon after being 
carried to the fort. An inscription, cut in the face of the rock near 
where he fell, by Thomas Elgar, reads, " Aaron Belding was killed 
here July the 23d, 1748." 

Some years after, in time of peace, three Indians came down the 
river in a canoe, and stopped at the tavern kept by Moses Belding a 
twin brother of Aaron. After drinking somewhat freely, one of the 
Indians, related the circumstances connected with the shooting and 
scalping, and boasted that it was his own act. His statement of the 
transaction corresponding with what Moses had learned from his 
dying brother, left no room to doubt the identity of the murderer. 
Moses gave orders to his wife to supply the Indians with " what they 
should call for," took his gun, and left the house. Between sunset 
and dark, the Indians left the tavern and went in the direction of the 
river. Not long after, a rousing gun was heard ; and in the course 
of the evening Belding returned home. No questions were asked ; 
and no explanations given -, but a few days afterwards a strange canoe 
was found lodged on the river bank, a little below where the Indians 
were supposed to have landed. The common belief was, that a rak- 
ing fire with buck-shot had emptied that canoe ! 

Capt. Melvin with a company of 26 Rangers was stationed at 
Northfield, Aug. 1. to 30. Capt. Thomas Buckminster, with 48 
men from Brookfield reached Fort Dummer Aug. 6, and remained 
till the 20th. Lieut. Seth Pomeroy of Northampton, with 98 men 
was in service from Aug. 7, to 21. Col. Joseph Dwight, with 100 
men from Hatfield and vicinity was out from Aug. 11, to Aug 22. 

272 History of Northfield, 

And a few soldiers from Connecticut came up to Northfield, and re- 
mained till Oct. 24. 

The news that the preliminaries of peace had been agreed upon in 
Europe reached Boston Aug. 4; but it had no immediate effect on 
the war movements of the Massachusetts authorities. It had been 
known earlier in Canada. But the sending of large bodies of soldiers 
to the western frontiers ; and the more efficient conduct of affairs by 
Col. Williams, who received the command of the northern Hampshire 
regiment Nov. 16, checked the raids of the French and Indians. The 
later harvests were gathered in quietness. 

Oct. 24, the following petition was sent to Boston : 

" To his Excellency W» Shirley 

We who are underfigned, in behalf of the inhabitants of Northfield, look 
upon ourfelves dill expofed to the Indian enemy, notwithftanding y e cefTation 
of arms between y c Englifh and French ; for y e Indian enemy are not at all 
obliged *by it, and may take this advantage to do y e more mifchief ; And we 
are well fatiffied that they are about us, and we fear they are watching to de- 
ftroy us ; and we defire humbly to inform that Connefticut forces y l were 
polled at Northfield are this day drawn off, and we are left naked of any fol- 
diers for our help, and we arc but fmall in number ; and therefore greatly ex- 
pofed to y c enemy's afTaults. 

We therefore humbly pray y l we may ftill be fupplied with a fuitable number 
of foldiers, as y r Excellency fhall fee meet. 

Benj q . Doolittle 
Samuel Hunt, Lieut. 
Hezejciah Stratton, Ens. 
Joshua Lyman, ~\ 
Eliezer Patterson, > Selectmen. 
JoN tn Belding. ) 

In answer to this petition, Serg 1 Ebenezer Stratton and 14 men of 
Lieut. William Lyman's company at Fort Shirley, were ordered to 
Northfield, to do garrison duty till Jan. 2, 1749. 

Fifteen men were allowed at Fort Dummer, and 5 at Hinsdell's gar- 
rison, from Nov. 15, to Mar. 1, '49 ; and then continued till May 30. 

The calling out of such great numbers of militia involved a large 
expenditure. And the urgency made it necessary for the commissaries 
and colonels to use their personal credit and money, in the absence 
of appropriations by the legislature. Some extracts from Letters will 
show the straits to which they were brought. 

"To John Wheelwright. Comm* General. 
Sir : I have met with fo much trouble and been at fo great expenfe in the 
fupply of the line of forts in the year paft, that I am fick of the bufinefs. They 

The Old French and Indian War. 273 

have about 3 weeks' allowance at each of the forts ; and unlefs fome body is 
foon appointed to fupply them they may, as the winter may be, have to carry 
provifions upon men's backs as I was laft year. I hope you will find fome 
perfon to ferve the Province and yourfelf better than I am able. 

November 15, 1748. William Williams." 

•* Sir : I have borrowed large fums of money to enable me to fupply No. 4, 
Fort Dummer and the Alhuelots with provifions, required by the regular gar- 
rifons, and the large numbers of men called out upon alarms, for which I do to 
this time allow intcrelt, to my great detriment, and will, nay muft throw up 
my fub-commiflaryftiip. Josiah Willahd. 

"The Memorial of John Wheelwright, Nov. 16, 1748, Shewcth : The 
difficulty he labors under, particularly in billeting the foldiers in the weftern 
frontiers : At the prefent jundure thofc that have acted 'as fub-commiflarys 
have refufed to do fo any longer, owing to the great fcarcity of the pail winter, 
the fmall pay they receive, and especially becaufe they have been forced to 
borrow moneys to enable them to furnifh many fupplies : Col. Williams hav- 
ing advanced upwards of 6000 pounds, and Col. Willard upwards of 1 0,000 
pounds. As the winter feafon is approaching, the confequences of a want of 
provifions to the forts can eafily be forefeen." 

Nov, 18, the General Court made the needful appropriations. But 
it was a long time before the old accounts were all settled. Commis- 
sary Williams sent a petition to the legislature, in behalf of the town 
of Northfield, April 13, 1749, shewing, " that the inhabitants of said 
town billeted Capt. Leeds and company the spring and summer past ; 
that by reason of the war they were so drove from their improvements, 
that they were obliged to go as far as the lower part of the county 
and even to Connecticut to buy provisions for their subsistence, 
which cost them so dear that they cannot without loss board the men 
for less than 40 shillings old tenor per week." 

April 19, the necessary grant was voted, and after the usual delays, 
was received. 

The treaty of peace was signed at Aix la Chapelle. Oct. 7, but 
was not proclaimed in Boston till May 10th of the next year. 

1749. Death of Rev. Benj". Doolittle. — Our knowledge of 
the life and leading characteristics of the minister-physician of North- 
field, is confined to the few incidents interwoven in the preceding 
pages. His pastorate must have been a varied and in many respects a 
trying one. The period was distinguished by stirring events in po- 
litical, military and religious affairs. Men thought quickly and acted 

274 History of Northfield. 

promptly. How he stood related to some of these questions has been 
indicated by the account of his church troubles. The part he took 
in others appears in the petitions he sent to the General Court, al- 
ready quoted. The services he rendered in the former and the late 
war, as surgeon, were of the greatest public and private benefit. His 
death occurred just at the close of the war, which so directly and 
deeply affected the interests of Northfield and the adjacent settlements. 

From the inscription on his grave stone, it appears that Mr. Doo- 
little died January 9, 174I, in the 54th year of his age, and the 
30th of his ministry. The following notice appeared in the Boston 
Gazette and IVeekly Journal of Jan. 24 : " We are informed that on 
the 9th instant, the Rev. Mr. Doolittle, pastor of the church in 
Northfield, was suddenly seized with a pain in his breast, as he was 
mending a fence in his yard, and died in a few minutes time, to the 
inexpressible grief of the town in general, as well as his own family 
in particular." 

A sermon was preached at his funeral by Rev. Jonathan Ashley 
of Deerfield, from Mark xiii, 37, and Rev. iii, 3. The sermon was 
printed ; but it contains no sketch of Mr. D.'s life or character, fur- 
ther than to say, " he was a tender husband and an affectionate 
father." He appears to have been better known abroad as a surgeon 
than as a preacher. His medical practice was large and successful ; his 
surgical practice extended from No. 4, as far down as Springfield. 
In 1743, he wrote and published a sermon entitled, " An Enquiry into 
Enthusiasm, being an Account of what it is, the original, Progress, 
and Effect of it." By a reference to p. 232 in the preceding chapter, 
the occasion of the discourse will be readily inferred. 

Mr. Doolittle kept a record of the leading events of .the war, which 
transpired in this vicinity, from its opening to August 2, 1748. This 
was published, with some small additions, in 1750, under the title, 
"A Short Narrative of the Mischief done by the French and Indian 
enemy, on the western frontiers of the Province of Massachusetts 
Bay." It is an octavo pamphlet of 24 pages. This record, a copy 
of which is in the library of Harvard College, has been the basis of 
the history of the war, contained in this chapter. 

A New Preacher. — In March, Mr. Isaac Lyman was hired to 
preach, and was requested to preach on probation. Sept. 20, the 
town, at a meeting called for the purpose, voted, to give the worthy 
Mr. Isaac Lyman a call to settle with us in the ministry. He did 
not accept. Isaac Lyman was son of Capt. Moses and Mindwell 
(Sheldon) Lyman, b. at Northampton, Feb. 25, 1725 ; graduated 

The Old French and Indian War. 275 

Yale College, 1747. In 1750 he was settled as pastor of the church 
in Yorky Province of Maine. 

The soldiers in garrison at the forts above Northfield were dis- 
missed May 31. But the inhabitants continued to keep watch and 
ward at the several town forts. June 20, the Indians made a sudden 
assault at No. 4. Sergt. Caleb How, writing that day, says : 

"This afternoon about 3 o'clk, the Indians /hot upon Enfign Obadiah Sart- 
well as he was harrowing corn in his home-lot. The ward faw them as foon 
as they rofe out of their ambufh. They fhot 4 guns, the laft of which killed 
father Parey's marc. The ward fays he faw the Indians lead off your fon Enos, 
who was riding the mare, and lift him over the fence, fo chat we hope he is 
well. We faw about 10 or 12 Indians run upon Sartwell, and they were naked, 
and they made off very quick. Caleb How. 

To Capt. Phinehas Stevens at Northfield." 

The next day 5 Indians were seen skulking above West river 
mountain ; and some cattle feeding above Hinsdell's fort were fired 
upon. 1 

These signs of fresh hostilities spread consternation all along the 
frontier. Orders were immediately issued to raise 100 effective men ; 
25 to be posted at No. 4, 10 at the Ashuelots, 5 each at Fall-town, 
Colrain and Northfield, and 50 were to be employed in scouting. 

Early in July, levies were raised out of several Middlesex and 
Worcester regiments, and ordered to rendezvous at Northfield. The 
company, comprising 56 men, was put under command of Capt. 
John Catlin of Deerfield. Some Deerfield and Northfield men were 
attached to it. The men were mustered July 13, and discharged 
Oct. i2o On the roll are the following Northfield names : Lt. 
Elias Alexander, Sergt. John Stratton, Sergt. Thomas Taylor, Sergt. 
Moses Wright, Daniel How Jr., Samson Freeman, Hezekiah Elmer. 
Twelve of the men went up from Framingham, viz. Corp. John 
Butler, Fuller Putnam, Jona. Cole, Moses Parker, Edmund Town, 
Stephen Hastings, Jona. Farwell, Henry Snow, Joseph Young, Sam- 
uel Adams, Josiah Stone, Jona. Brewer. This company was bil- 
leted one-half the time at Northfield and one-half the time at Keene. 
The allowance for billeting per man per week at Northfield was 8 
shillings, at Keene 10 shillings 7 pence 3 farthings, new tenor. 

The Northfield militia company reorganized, choosing Samuel 
Hunt, Captain, Hezekiah Stratton, Lieut., Nathaniel Mattoon, Ensign. 

In the war now closed, Northfield was a depot of stores and rally- 
ing point of men for the valley frontier. The headquarters of com- 

1 Man. Archives, nil, 346. 

276 History of Nortbfield. 

mand was at Northampton and Hatfield ; but the headquarters of 

service was at Northfield. The four well built forts in the village 

afforded a temporary lodgment for squads and companies, as well as 

a permanent station for garrisons. It was convenient and central for 

the scouts and rangers that went east to Townsend and vicinity, as 

well as those that took more northern routes. It was the most 

northern point to which provisions and stores could be safely sent at 

all times, without a special guard. Then it had a large acreage of 

rich meadow and tillage lands, which could be relied on for grass and 

grain. And as the residence of Mr. Doolittle, the oldest and best 

known surgeon in the region, whose house was a fort, it necessarily 

became a retreat for disabled soldiers and their friends. All these 

things gave the town prominence in social and financial as well as in 

military affairs. 

This advantage of natural position and resources, was commonly 
supposed to insure corresponding prosperity. Some of the lower 
towns were envious of her chance to grow rich out of the war. The 
Provincial authorities were disposed to cut down allowance for sub- 
sisting men and horses, because Northfield could afford to supply food 
and forage cheaper than other points. That Capt. Hunt and Ensign 
Field, and a few of the large landholders, and the traders, and black- 
smiths, and shoemakers were individually benefited is certain. Their 
inventories of personal property went up rapidly. 

But the cost of all farming operations was greatly increased. And 
the drain of the material force of the town, by taking off so large a 
share of the active young men, was a serious drawback. The de- 
moralization of war was, however, its most deplorable evil. The 
temptation to enlist in scouting and ranging parties, growing out of 
the large bounties offered for scalps, and the freedom and excitement 
of perilous adventure, drew many into these companies; and the pay 
and occasional bounty proved insufficient to meet necessary expenses, 
and recklessness as to means and ends was the result. The ragged 
and hungry Ranger sometimes supplied his wants, without inquiring 
into the rights of property and life. And the comparatively idle life 
of the garrison soldier, with no care for supplying daily wants, in- 
duced habits of shiftless and thriftless living, which were not easily 
thrown off. Rev. Mr. Doolittle in his Narrative forcibly remarks, 
" great numbers of our young men enlisted, and have been kept in 
pay and idleness, to the ruin of many of them and the hurt of the 

1 750. This was a year of peace and recovery. Garrisons of 10 men 

The Old French and Indian War. 277 

were kept at Fort Dummer and 15 men at No. 4 ; but the forts at 
Northiield were deserted of soldiers. 

March 5, at the annual meeting, the town voted to forbid the cut- 
ting of timber on the undivided lands north of the Ashuelot and on 
the west side of the Connecticut ; and a committee was instructed to 
prosecute all breaches of this order. 

The Rev. John Hubbard. — After the failure of the effort to 
settle Mr. Isaac Lyman in the ministry, Mr. John Hubbard of 
Hatfield, a graduate of Yale College 1747, was employed to preach 
on probation. 

" At a legal meeting of rhe freeholders and other inhabitants of North/ield, 
duly warned and convened on the 5th of March 1750, Chofe Capt. Ebenczer 
Alexander moderator : Voted, To give the worthy Mr. John Hubbard £13368 
lawful money, to be paid in the following manner, viz. £53 6 8 on the firft 
day of Sept. 1 750, and <£8o on the 5th of March following, on condition he 
fettles in y e work of y e Gofpcl Miniftry amongft us. Voted, To give Mr. 
John Hubbard £66 1 3 4 lawful money of this province annually, at the rate 
of filver at 6 shillings ard 8 pence the ounce, during his continuance in the 
work of the miniftry amongft 113. Voted, To provide Mr. Hubbard with fuch 
fupply of wood as his family fhall Hand in need of, during his continuance in 
the work of the miniftry amongft us." 

" Having confidered of the above mentioned votes of the inhabitants of the 
town of Northfield refpecling my fettlement and falary, I do fully and heartily 
give my confent and accept rhereof. As witnefs my hand this 5th of March 
A. D., 1750. John Hubbard. 

An ecclesiastical council was called and he was ordained May 30. 

At a meeting of the town Oct. 7, it was voted that Dr. Watts's 
Paraphrase of David's Psalms be sung on the Lord's Day and at other 
times, instead of the New England version. 

Preparations were made the last year to resettle some of the de- 
serted farms near the Ashuelot and on Merry's meadow, and to put 
up some dwelling houses, on the west side of the Connecticut. Capt. 
O. Bridgman had previously rebuilt his fort and was living there with 
his family. Josiah Sartwell and his son-in-law Caleb How were 
living at Sartwell's block-house. And in the spring of this year (1 750) 
Capt. Joseph Stebbins and Ens. Samuel Stratton built log-houses 011 
their lands. The former stood 80 rods south of Stebbins's island 
(some large apple trees now mark the place of the old cellar hole) ; 
the latter was set on the Fifth meadow, a little south-easterlv from 
the present farm-house of Frederick Brown, who owns the place. 
A year or two later, Benoni Wright built a log house some distance 

278 History of Northfield. 

above Stebbins. On the east side, John Evens rebuilt on the old 
site. Sergt. Thomas Taylor built on the meadow a half mile above 
Evens ; Robert Cooper and his son Aaron returned to their home- 
stead at the lower end of Merry's meadow ; Peter Evens Jr. (known 
as Deacon Peter) settled not far from Cooper ; and Daniel Shattuck 
re-occupied his partially destroyed block-house. Col. Hinsdell had 
never deserted his fort. Moses Belding built near the Ashuelot. 

1751. The Town Forts. — There was an article in the warrant 
for the March meeting, " to see if the town will pull down and dispose 
of the forts." The same article was in the warrant for March 1752. 
At a meeting Feb. 5, 1753, the town voted, "that as they would 
have no farther use for their forts, a committee be chosen to sell and 
dispose of them." 

This year (1751) John Averill, wife and son Asa, William Gould, 
wife and son John, Amos Carpenter and wife, all of Northfield, and 
Atherton Chaffee, removed to township No. 1, now Westminster Vt. 

The proprietors of the townships on the east side of the Connecticut 
above Northfield, granted by Massachusetts, now applied to the 
Province of New Hampshire for new grants. Most of the original 
planters, and others, had returned to their lands ; and Gov. Benning 
Wentworth, for reasons of policy not necessary to be recapitulated, 
issued charters to all applicants. 1 

1752. The township known as No. 2, was regranted by the name 
of Westmoreland, Feb. 12, 1752. Among the grantees were Philip 
Alexander, Simeon Alexander, Eben r Hinsdell, Samuel Hunt, Enoch 
Hall, John Alexander, Simeon Knight, John Taylor, John Chandler, 
Josiah Foster, Valentine Butler, Daniel How, Daniel How Jr., Caleb 
How, Abner How, Josiah Willard, Samuel How, Edward How, 
Samuel Minot, John Rugg, Jona. Cole, Michael Gilson, John 
Brown, William How. At the town meeting March 31, 1752, 
Caleb How was chosen proprietors' clerk, assessor, and one of the 
committee to lay out the lots ; Daniel How was on the committee to 
let out the grist-mill, and to call future meetings, the notifications for 
which were required to be posted up at Northfield, Winchester and 
at home. 

Mar. 4, 1752, Capt. William Syms sent a memorial to the N. H. 
legislature, offering to raise a company of 500 men to explore the 
Coos (Cowas) country, and cut a road thither from No. 4, with a 
view to settling the rich meadows there. The St. Francis Indians, who 

1 Farmer's cd. of Belknap's Hist, of N. H. t p. 305. 

The Old French and Indian War. 279 

claimed this country, sent a delegation to Capt. Phinehas Stevens at 
No. 4, threatening war, if the English made a settlement there ; and 
the project was given up. 

1753. Capt. Ebenezer Alexander and 94 others, petitioned Gov. 
Wentworth for a regrant of the territory cut off from Northfield by 
the new state line, and the lands adjacent up to the line of township 
No. 1. In accordance with this petition, the charter of Hinsdale, 
embracing the lands of both sides of the river, was issued Sept. 3, 
1753. At the first meeting of the inhabitants, Sept. 25, Orlando 
Bridgman was chairman, (appointed by the charter) ; Daniel Shattuck, 
John Evens, Benoni Wright were chosen selectmen ; Col. Eben r 
Hinsdell clerk; John Evens, treasurer; Caleb How, constable; 
Joseph Stebbins Jr., Thomas Taylor, surveyors ; Peter Evens, 
tythingman ; Col. Hinsdell, Josiah Willard, O. Bridgman, Caleb 
How, Joseph Stebbins Jr., committee to lot out the land ; Aaron 
Cooper, field driver. 

Sept. 26, an alteration was made in the charter by which the above 
grant was divided into two towns, the line of separation being the west 
bank of the river ; and both towns were called Hinsdale. 

An article in the Northfield town warrant for the March meeting 
was, u to see if the town will clear off the incumbrances and encroach- 
ments made upon the town street and highways.'* The width of the 
main street, and the convenience thereof, made it a sort of receptacle 
for all cast-off things. If one wanted his premises protected against 
swine and cattle, he built a Virginia fence in front as well as at the 
sides of his home-lot, as none other was proof against their snouts and 
horns. And the custom of letting these animals run at large in the 
highway, made it a repulsive rather than an attractive place ; and 
broke down the distinctions which are always associated with a well 
kept lawn and a neatly enclosed dooryard. 

The logs for timber and building stuff, drawn in on the winter 
snow, were left in the street ; and so were the sleds. The cart, if it 
got broken, was left here, as it would be in the way if put near the 
buildings. Sometimes the pig-pen was established in the highway ; 
sometimes the cow-yard ; and always the sheep-fold for summer use. 
These with their common accessories made a most unsightly incum- 
brance. And during the war, barracks for horses had been erected 
in the street near the different forts, to be convenient for guarding, 
and handy for mounting in case of an alarm. Altogether, the en- 
croachments had accumulated to a degree repugnant to the taste of 
even that utilizing age; and they were cleared off — to await the 

280 History of Nortbfield. 

necessities of another war, or the annual convenience of adjacent 

In the same warrant was an article, " To see if the town will give 
liberty to Moses Field, Doctor Andros and Simeon Alexander, to 
cutaway the seats in the body of the meeting house, and make them- 
selves a pew." According to the fashion of the time, the body seats 
were lono- benches without backs. An alley ran down the centre from 
the front door to the pulpit, separating the women's side from the 
men's side ; and there was an alley round near the walls, with a fixed 
bench on the wall side. The sittings were assigned to individuals 
and families from time to time, by a committee appointed for the pur- 
pose by the town. Each seat was " dignified " or classed according 
to its eligibility of location, those next the pulpit in front being con- 
sidered the highest in rank. Families were seated according to some 
stated rule of distinction — sometimes by age, sometimes by property, 
sometimes by respectability, difficult of definition as is the term. 
Strange complications, and jealousies, and heart burnings, and strifes 
grew out of this custom of seating the meeting house. Some disliked 
their seatmates, and stayed at home ; some disliked their seats, and 
applied to the town for redress, or took a seat of their liking, when 
they were liable to be taken in hand by the tythingman. And so 
human nature developed its peculiarities ; and evinced its need of 
meeting houses and Gospel ordinances, even inside those meeting 
houses, and under the direct influence of those ministrations. 

It was not uncommon for two or three families to combine and 
get leave to build a pew for their especial use. The town's permis- 
sion was usually coupled with some condition, such as, that they 
would pledge themselves to sit no where else, or to make a new 
window or maintain the one next their pew. Sometimes the request 
was granted on condition that the pew-builders should take care of 
the meeting house for a term of years. 

Moses Wright, Simeon Knight and Joel Bigelow removed from 
Northfield this year, and settled in Rockingham Vt., to be driven 
back by war within two years. 

Pasturing the Commons, was one of the necessities of those days, 
but was attended with inconveniences, and risks, and loss. Each 
owner of stock adopted a mark, which was recorded on the town 
book, and put upon his cattle before they were turned out. It was 
usually a peculiar slit or hole in the ear, or a brand for young stock, 
and a mark on the horn for old cattle. Young cattle often wandered 
off for miles, and had to be hunted up in the fall. This spring, Jona- 
than Belding turned out a black mare to pasture on the commons. 

The Old French and Indian War. 28 1 

She strayed southward below Miller's river, and in the fall was taken 
up as an estray by Aaron Cook of Hadley, and advertized ; where- 
upon she was claimed by George Patterson of Pelham, who kept her 
three years, and sold her. In '57 she was owned by Abner How of 
Amherst, and was found and identified by Mr. Belding. The legal 
time of recovery having passed, Mr. B. petitioned the legislature for 
a special act empowering him to reclaim the mare ; and such an act 
was passed Dec. 31, 1757. 

Sheep. — All the sheep in town were gathered into one flock about 
the 20th of April, and put in charge of a shepherd, till the 20th of 
October. He took them abroad every day and brought them in at 
night to be folded. This year Hezekiah Elmer was shepherd, and 
was paid 6 pounds old tenor per month, each owner sharing the ex- 
pense. The principal flocks were owned by Rev. Mr. Hubbard, 
John Stratton, Phinehas Wright, Dr. Eben f Field, Eben r Field Jr. 
and Capt. Samuel Hunt. 

Division of the Remaining Commons. — Fourth division. At a 
legal meeting of the Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Lands 
in Northfield, held Monday April 9, 1753, it was voted, To lay out 
that part of the common and undivided lands in Northfield that lyeth 
north of the Third Division (so called), and the common lands on the 
west side of the Connecticut river. Voted, That each poll mentioned 
in the list of valuation of estates made by the assessors of Northfield 
in the year 1751 shall draw 20 a. of land in the aforesaid division, 
and the estates shall draw equally upon the pound according to the 
list of valuation. Voted, The first lot shall begin adjoining the north 
side of the Third Division. Voted, That an allowance be made for 
a county road of 6 rods wide across every man's lot, and a highway 
of 2 rods wide adjacent to all the general fields and meadows lying 
against s d Division. Voted, To draw lots by tickets. Voted, That 
the clerk shall draw lots for the absent proprietors. Voted, That 
when a lot happens to fall against some former grant or a pond so as 
to cut off the lot, then part of s a lot shall lye on one side and part on 
the other of s d grant or pond. 

The first 14 lots lay on the east side of the river ; lot No. 15 lay 
partly between Capt. Bridgman's farm and Cold spring meadow, and 
partly west of Capt. B.'s farm, which part is 160 rods north and south, 
and bounded on the north and west by the ancient to-wn lines. The 
lots from 15 to 57 inclusive lay north of the state line (now in Ver- 


History of Northfieid. 

non, Vt.) ; from 58 to 78, south of that line, and extended to the 
north line of Bennett's meadow. 

The following list of proprietors in the fourth division indicates the 
names of all the resident land owners and tax-payers in 1 75 1, and the 
relative valuation of each ; and will be a convenient table for reference 
and comparison. The names are arranged in the order in which the 
lots were drawn. 

° Names. 



I Sam'l Merriman, 


2 Josiah Foster, 


3 Serg't Jo. Petty 's heirs 

» 70 

4 Israel Warner, 


5 Rememb Wright, 


6 Phinehas Wright, 


7 Eliezur Strarton, 

Z S 

8 Lt. Wm. Wright. 


9 wid. Martha Dickinson 

, 89 

10 Simeon Alexander, 


1 1 Samuel Field, 


12 Dan'l Brooks, 


13 Paul Field, 


14 Jos. Stebbins, 


15 Ens. Moses Field, 

9 ti 

16 Wm. Orvis, 


17 Abijah Prince, 


18 John Grandy, 


19 Joseph Burt, 


20 Capt. Eb'r Alexander, 


21 Eben'r Warner, 


22 Moses Evens, 

25 3.! 

23 Beriah Grandy, 


24 Alcx'r Norton, 


25 Dea. S. Root, 


26 Bcnj. Rose; 



27 Sam'l Holton, 199^ 

28 Tho's Stebbins, 20 

29 Lt. Joshua Lyman, 189 

30 Moses Dickinson, 40 

31 Dea. S. Smith, 246 

32 Benj. Brooks, 1 1 5A- 

33 Ens. Nath. Mattoon, 232 

34 Wm. Holton, 20 

35 Eben'r Stratton, 25 

36 John Stratton, 30 

37 Jona. Janes, *4^^ 

38 wid. Sarah Petty, 22.I 

39 Lt. E. Wright's heirs, 20 

40 Eben'r Severance, 68 

41 Jos. Alexander, 23I 

42 Nehem. Wright, 122.] 

43 Wm. Holton Jr., 117^ 

44 Henry Kenny, 20 

45 Isaac Mattoon, 127} 

46 Nath. Dickinson, 35 

47 Capt. Sam'l Hunt, 446 

48 Eben'r Field Jr., 155 

49 Sam'l Stratton, 35 

50 wid. Marg't Petty, 37A 

51 Hez. Stratton Jr., 32.} 

52 Joseph Petty, 105 








53 Dan'l Elmer, 

54 Abra'm Elgar, 

55 Jacob Elmer, 

56 John Avery, 

57 Steph. Belding, 

58 Lt. Jona. Belding, 287* 

59 Philip Alexander, 27} 

60 Aaron Burt, 83} 

61 Lt. Hez. Stratton, 200 £ 

62 Hez. Elmer, 20 

63 Dr. TJildad Andros, 88* 

64 John Motfatt, 27^ 

65 Benoni Wright, 

66 Randall livens, 

67 Zeb. Stebbins, 

68 Hez. Elmer Jr., 

69 Seth Field, 

70 Abijah Hall, 

71 Philip Mattoon, 

72 John Holton, 

73 Luc's Doolittle, 

74 Benj. Miller, 

75 wid. Lyd. Doolittle, 106 

76 Elie'r Patterson, 129 

77 Dr. Eben'r Field, 1 19 

78 Aza'h Wright, 186 









The Fifth Division. — The next spring, what is known as the 
Filth Division of Commons was made. It embraced three several 
tracts of land : the first was a strip 30 rods wide from the original 
north east corner of the town westerly 1100 rods to the choice lots 
east of Merry's meadow, 9 lots ; the second tract began on the plain 
east of Daniel Shattuck's and extended southerly to the new Province 
line, 49 lots ; the third began north of Bennett's meadow, where 
the Fourth Division ended and extended south to Deerfield line, lots 
numbered 59 to 78 inclusive. A poll drew 5 acres ; and a pound 
valuation j'ust one-fourth as much as in the Fourth Division, the list 
of proprietors being the same. 

Industries. — The new mechanics and tradesmen, starting busi- 
ness in Northfieid during this period were : blacksmiths, Simeon 

The Old French and Indian War. 283 

Alexander, who set up a shop in the street near the Dea. Alexander 
home-lot in '44 or '45 ; Joshua Lyman moved from Fort Dummer 
and built a shop in front of his home-lot about '47. Carpenter : 
John Avery was a master builder here in '44 ; he was taxed here in 
'51, and received grants in the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Divisions of 
Commons. Shoemaker : Ens. Moses Field was at work at his trade 
in 1750. His shop stood on the south west corner of the Great 
swamp. Some of his charges were ; for making a pr. of mogasins, 
9 shillings ; men's shoes, 18 shillings ; women's shoes, 19 shillings ; 
men's pumps, 4 shillings ; women's pumps, 3s. 8d. Hatter : Samuel 
Root commenced making hats immediately after the close of the war, 
probably in 1750. He charged from 20 to 42 shillings for beaver 
hats, and 12 to 20 shillings for hats made of coon and muskrat furs. 
Physicians : Ebenezer Field was a medicine man, who used certain 
specifics and odd mixtures, which he claimed to be sovereign remedies 
for disease [see ante, p. 164] ; Dr. Bildad Andros (sometimes written 
Andrews) came to Northfield after the death of Mr. Doolittle, and 
was here till '55. He was a surgeon of much skill, and was often 
attached to the forts or with marching regiments in time of war. 
Merchants : Joseph Brooks had a store in town -, but how early he 
commenced business is unknown ; Aaron Burt was engaged in trade 
in '44, at the old store by E. H. Colton's. 


The Last French and Indian War. 1754-1763. 

The Three Gates of Canada — Cou Williams's Plan of Defence for 
Western Frontiers — Ranging Companies — Bounty for Prisoners and 
Scalps — New Forts at Northfield — Rev. John Dennis — Potatoes — 
Campaign of 1755 — Lieut. Elias Alexander — Killing of Caleb How, 
and Capture of Jemima How and Others — Attack near Hinsdell's 
Fort — Campaign op '56 — Zebediah Stebbins and Reuben Wright — 
Campaign of '57— 'Surrender of Fort William Henry and the Great 
Alarm — Submit Belding— Campaign of '58 — Killing of Asahel Steb- 
bins — Campaign of '59 — Rogers's Expedition against St. Francis — 
Surrender of Montreal — Cost of the War — Miscellany. 

HE treaty of Aix la Chapelle proved to be little more than 
a truce. The Indians continued their depredations till 
June 1749; and re-commenced hostilities in May 1754. 
Assured that there could be no permanent peace to her 
American Colonies, so long as the French power was dominant on 
the northern frontiers, Great Britain determined to effect the conquest 
of Canada. 

The gates to the French possessions on the St. Lawrence, were, 
1, by way of the River St. Lawrence ; 2, by way of Crown Point 
and Lake Champlain ; 3, by way of Lake Ontario. The reduction 
of Canada then involved the taking of Louisburg, which had been 
restored to the French by the late treaty ; the capture of Crown 
Point ; and the capture of Fort Niagara and its out-post Fort Du 

The English government called on the Provinces to furnish their 
full quotas of men to these great expeditions, which were placed 
under command of British officers ; and the intermediate frontiers 
were left in the main to look out for themselves. 

The settlements on and near the Connecticut river were, as here- 
tofore, exposed to direct attacks from the Indians living on the St. 
Francis river, and in its vicinity, as well as from the tribes further 

Plan of Defences for these Frontiers. — Col. Israel Wil- 
liams, commanding the northern Hampshire regiment, writing to Gov. 
Shirley Sept. 12, 1754, says: 

The Last French and Indian War. 28 <j 

" I conclude by this time you are fully informed of the hoftile attacks of the 
Indians and the mifchiefs done by them on our frontiers [the capture of the 
family of James Johnfon at No. 4, Aug. 30, and the raid on Dutch Hoofuck 
two days before.] It's now open war with us. * My fituation makes the 
weftern frontiers the more immediate object of my attention * * I beg 
leave therefore to lay before y r Excellency what I think will be bed for our 
defence. My plan is, that there be a garrifon at Fall-town, another at Morri- 
fon's in Colrain, two at Charlemont, Maflachufetts Fort, and a garrifon at 
PontoofucL The people are preparing for their defence, as I fuppofe ; and 
the charge of making thefe places fufficient will not be very great to the govern- 

I propofe that there be at lead 50 men at Fort Maflachufetts, 30 at Pontoo- 
fuck, they to maintain a conltant fcout from Stockbridge through the wefterly 
part of Framingham townfhip, and the weft townlhip at Hoofuck to the f a fort, 
and from thence to the top of Hoofuck mountain : That there be 14 men at 
Fail-town, 20 at Morrifon's, and 1 2 at each garrifon in Charlemont, these to 
perform a conftant fcout from Connecticut river againft Northfield to the top of 
f 1 Hoofuck mountain. Thefe fcouts thus performed will crofs all y a roads the 
enemy ever travel to come within the aforcfaid line of forts. There will doubt- 
lefs be more wanted for the protection of fome places within the line. How- 
ever, if the fcouting be faithfully performed, there will not, I apprehend, any 
confiderable body of the enemy get within y° line aforefaid undifcovered ; and 
they will be a great reltraint upon fmall parties, who will be afraid of being 
enfnared. I propofe that fome of the men polled at Fort Maflachufetts be 
employed to waylay the roads from Crown Point. The enemy generally when 
they leave that place come by the foutherly fide of the Lake or Drowned Lands, 
leave their canoes, and come down to Hoofuck ; or they may turn off to the 
eaft; let which be the cafe, that fort is beft fituated to fend parties from for the 
purpofe aforefaid to gain advantage. 

I would neglect Shirley and Pelham forts becaufe the Indians were fcarcc ever 
known in y u laft war to come down Deerfield river, and that road is very 
bad, and almolt impaflablc. Shirley is rotten, and if maintained, mull be re- 
built. That at Morrifon's will anfwer as well, and can be much eafier fup- 
plied. If a fort were built on the top of Hoofuck mountain, it would fhorten 
the fcouting, and anfwer as well as y° propofed line through Charlemont. 

I propofe two forts between Fort Maflachufetts and Hudson's river. 

As to y e forts above y c Line ; If New Hampshire would fupport them, it 
might be well ; but the advantages that would arife to this government by 
doing it would not countervail the expenfe, nor leflen the charge we muft 
be at in defending our frontiers on y° eaft fide of y° River, where they can be 
much eafier and cheaper fupphed wi'li provifions. Notwithftanding the fort at 
No. 4, the enemy can and will come down Black river, Williams river or 
Weft river, go over eaft, or turn down fouth without hazard, and return with 
like fecurity the fame way, or go above. 

The grand defign Col. Stoddard had in garrifoning No. 4, was, that parties . 

286 History of Nortbfield. 

might be lent out from there to waylay the roads from Crown Point, and faid 
there ought to be 100 men polled there veil fupplied, 50 to be out at a time. 
But he lived to fee himfelf difappointed. The government never did afford a 
fufficient number of men for that purpofe ; and it was with the utmoft difficulty 
provifions were obtained for thofe that were there; many were loft there, and 
in going there, without doing any great good. That fort might divert the enemy 
fometimes : but till the French join openly with the Indians, they will not fight 
forts much ; but in fniall parties carry on a fcalping war, and the more corn- 
pad the better it will be for us." 

This plan virtually abandoned all the settlements above the state 
line; and took care of the towns within our own jurisdiction. But 
New Hampshire still refused to protect the river towns, now holding 
rights under her charters ; and Massachusetts would not consent that 
No. 4, and Dummer should be left wholly undefended. It was de- 
cided to maintain a garrison at these posts ; and there were eventu- 
ally four forts at Northfield ; two garrisons — Sheldon's and Burlc's — 
at Fall town ; three at Colrain — Morrison's, the South, and Lucas's ; 
three at Charlemont — Taylor's, Rice's and Hawks's ; two at Pon- 
toosuck, etc. And there were above the line, Bridgman's and Sart- 
well's block-houses, and Hinsdell's fort ; and already or soon to be 
built, forts at Great Meadow (Putney), Walpole and Keene. 

The bounties offered by the Massachusetts legislature to regular 
troops were as follows : For every male Indian prisoner over 12 years 
old delivered at Boston, 50 pounds ; for every scalp of such Indian, 
40 pounds ; for every female prisoner of any age and for males under 
12, 25 pounds; for every scalp of such female or boy 20 pounds. 
But the main reliance for offensive warfare during this struggle, was 
placed on companies of Rangers who should scout from fort to fort, 
and waylay the Indian paths. The following encouragement and rules 
of service for such companies were prescribed : 

" That for the encouragement of volunteers to enlift and form themfelves 
into companies to penetrate into the Indian country, in order to captivate and 
kill the Indians of any of the tribes this government has declared war againft, 
30 day's provifions (hall be given to every and all the companies raifed as afore- 
faid, provided that none of the faid companies (hall confift of lefs than 30 men, 
and that the faid companies (hall be held to perform a fcout of at lead 30 days 
upon every march, unlefs fome fpecial reafon (for the good of the fervice) (hall 
appear for their returning in a lefs time : And that the officers of each company 
(hall be alfo held to keep a Journal of each of their marches or fcouts, and ex- 
hibit it in courfc under oath to the captain general. And for every captive 
taken by faid companies or by any detachment or party of any of faid com- 
panies, which (hall be h'ought to Bofton and delivered to the governor, there 

The Last French and Indian War. 287 

fhall be paid out of the public treafury the fum of 220 pounds; and for every 
fcalp brought in as aforefaid, the fum of 200 pounds." 

The most noted of these ranging companies are Lyman's, Burk's, 
Rogers's, Rice's, Putnam's, John Stark's and Wm. Stark's. Some 
of their Journals are a record of hardships and perils ; of waylaying 
an Indian trail for days together ; of watching on the mountain tops 
for camp smokes ; of winter marches on snow-shoes and lodging at 
night in the open air or under brush huts ; of quickness of sight and 
hearing, and promptness of action, that show human endurance, and 
reveal the perfectness of discipline, and self-reliance, and contempt of 
danger, to which men united in a common purpose, can be brought. 
In stratagem and finesse, they were little if at all inferior to the In- 
dians ; in combat on equal terms, they were greatly superior." 

Deerfield was made the depot of stores for the forts and garrisons 
on the west side of the river ; and Northfield no longer held the cen- 
tral military position which she had during the earlier wars. 

1754. June 21, Gov. Shirley issued orders to the commanders of 
regiments, to make a thorough inspection of the state of the militia 
and report to head-quarters. The several towns were also required 
to supply themselves with the full stock of ammunition required by 

New Forts at Northfield. — As before related, the forts at 
Northfield were taken down in 1753, because a the town would have 
no further use for them." But the mistake was soon discovered. 
When the news of the capture of the Johnson family at No. 4, Aug. 
30, reached Northfield the next day, the selectmen issued a warrant 
dated Sabbath, Sept. 1, calling a town meeting for Monday Sept. 2, 
14 at seven o'clock in the morning, that being assembled they then 
and there may agree to build forts in such places as they shall appoint, 
if they see meet." It was voted to build four forts at the following 
places, viz. Capt. Ebenezer Alexander's, Rev. Mr. Hubbard's, wid. 
Lydia Doolittle'sand Samuel Field's. Voted, to choose a committee 
to apply to the legislature for aid to pay for the same. 

Work was at once commenced ; and the four forts, consisting of 
mounts and a surrounding line of strong pickets, were finished in the 
course of the ensuing winter and spring. 

August 31. Capt. Israel Williams (who held the two commissions 
of captain of the local militia, and colonel of the regiment) ordered 
out his company ; and they were stationed as follows — most of them 
from date to March 14 : Lieut. John Hawks with 29 men at Colrain ; 

288 History of Northfield. 

Ensign John Burk with 15 men at Fall-town ; Sergt. James Patrick 
with 14 men at Greenfield ; Ens. John May with 22 men at Char- 
lemont ; Sergt. Noah Strong with 13 men at Southampton. There 
was a garrison at Fort Massachusetts ; and Corp. Preserved Clap 
with 9 men was stationed at Huntstown while the people were 
gathering their harvest. 

At this date, No. 4 had 32 families, with a tolerably strong fort, 
but no soldiers to man it (Capt. Phinehas Stevens was spending the 
year at Northfield) ; Fort Dummer was occupied by Sergt. Nathan 
Willard and 7 men with their families ; Col. Hinsdell and several 
families were living at his fort, which was in good repair, except that 
the line of pickets was somewhat decayed ; Bridgman's and Sartwell's 
block-houses were in good repair, and occupied by families. North- 
field was left in charge of its own militia company, then in command 
of Capt. Samuel Hunt, with Seth Field as lieutenant, who succeeded 
to the captaincy in 1756. 

On the alarm the first of September, the families that had settled 
on their farms in what is now Vernon, Vt., and Hinsdale, N. H., left 
their exposed homesteads, and sought shelter in the town or at one 
of the forts. The Coopers, and Shattuck*, and Fairbanks Moore 
went to Fort Dummer ; the Wrights, Beldings and some others went 
to Hinsdell's fort ; and the Evenses and Thomas Taylor built a stock- 
ade around John Evens's house, which was the resort of Capt. Joseph 
Stebbins and his family. Ens. Stratton removed back to Northfield 

Potatoes. — The culture of this tuber began in Northfield about 
this date. The potato was unknown in New England till 1718, 
when it was introduced by a colony of Scotch emigrants who settled 
at Nuffield, now Londonderry, N. H. Some of these people 
removed to Pelham, Mass., and some to Colrain about 1738, and 
commenced its cultivation at those towns. For a great many years 
it was regarded by our people as unfit for food ; and did not come 
into common use till after the Revolution. In 1754 Moses Field 
sold \h bushels of potatoes for 15 shillings ; in '66 he sold 15 bushels 
at one shilling per bushel. 

The church members living at No. 4, desirous of observing the 
ordinances, came down to Northfield with their pastor elect, Mr. 
John Dennis, and were organized into a church December 4, 1754, 
and Mr. D. was ordained. He was dismissed by a council held at 
Deerfield March 31, 1756. Mr. Dennis was truck master at Fort 

The Last French and Indian War. 289 

George, province of Maine, 1745 ; was appointed chaplain at Fort 
Richmond April, '46. 

1755. Jan. 29, The church in Northfield voted, That no stranger 
coming and dwelling among us shall commune with us in special ordi- 
nances more than 12 months, without bringing a certificate from the 
church to which he or she belongs, of their good and regular standing, 
unless they shall offer satisfying reasons for their refusal. 

Troops were ordered to be stationed on our frontiers as follows: 
4 men at Fort Dummer; 40 at Fort Massachusetts ; r I at Pontoo- 
suck ; 24 at the three garrisons in Charlemont ; 24 at the three gar- 
risons in Colrain ; 14 at the two garrisons in F'all-town ; 20 at 
Northfield and Greenfield. 

Four military expeditions were planned in the spring of this year ; 
one against the French in Nova Scotia ; a second against Fort Du 
Quesne ; a third against Crown Point ; and a fourth against Niagara. 
Northfield furnished her full quota of men to the first and third of 
these expeditions. Lieut. Elias Alexander with the Northfield men, 
sailed from Boston with Gen. Winslow's division May 20, and reached 
the Bay of Fundy, June 1. Fort Beau Sejour was immediately in- 
vested, and surrendered after a siege of 4 days. The name of this 
fort was changed to Fort Cumberland. The following letter, written 
by Lieut. Alexander to his wife, contains some particulars of interest : 

"Camp at Fort Cumberland 
Loving wife ; Auguft 14, 175;. 

After due regards to you and duty to my parencs, I would inform you that 
I am well in health, blefled be God for it. Our fon Elijah has been very fick, 
but is got better, and I hope like to be well foon. We Hill remain in camp, and 
it is mod likely we (hall tarry here all winter. The French that are in this 
place are obliged to take up arms for us or go off, which they refufe to do, 
and they will be fent to France immediately. All their effe&s arc forfeited to 
King George. They have a great number of cattle and horfes which will be 
for our ufe. We have about 400 confined in the fort, and partys of our men 
are out daily bringing in the rell. All the French that are in Mcanefs l and 
any where elfe in this country mull bear the fame fate. 

All the men that came from Northfield are well except G randy ; he has been 
fick, but is like to get well. [ have wrote feveral letters home, but have no 
return. I long to hear from you, and defire you to write a hundred letters, out 
of which I may perhaps get one. Being in halte fhall conclude with my hum- 
ble regards to my children and all friends, none excepted. So I remain, 

Y r lovjng hufband till death, 

Elias Alexander." 

1 Minas is on the bay or' the same name on che souch cast sivie or" che Bay of' FunJy, 30 
leagues from che entrance of Annapolis. 

290 History of Nortbfie/d. 

The letter was addressed : " To Mr. Thomas Alexander at 
Northfleld in New England. To be left at Mr. Duits in Boston at 
the sign of the white horse." 

The expedition against Crown Point was put under command 
of Gen. Wm. Johnson -, but for various reasons, the summer was 
wasted in inaction. As an inducement to enlistments, the Massa- 
chusetts government offered to furnish each man at the time of enlist- 
ing, 1 blanket ; 24 shillings to such as provide themselves with good 
arms; «£i2 for arms and bounty ; and one month's advance pay on 
the first muster. Wages were to commence at the date of arrival at 
the rendezvous. The expedition was popular with our people, and 
great numbers enlisted. The Hampshire regiment, under Col. 
Ephraim Williams, marched for the rendezvous at Albany, about the 
middle of June, which left the valley frontiers almost defenceless and 
offered inducements which the Indian enemy were not slow to accept. 

The Scaticooks (Scaglcooks) had joined the St. Francis early in the 
spring : and the united tribes took this occasion to begin their depre- 
dations. June 1 1, thev attacked a party of men at work in a meadow 
in the upper part of Charlemont, killed Capt. Moses Rice and Phine- 
has Arms, and captured Titus King and Asa Rice. 

June 27, the Indians beset Bridgman's fort. The fort, which was 
strongly built and well picketed, was then occupied by three families, 
viz. Caleb How, wife Jemima and 7 children (including 2 daughters 
of Mrs. How by her former husband William Phipps), Hilkiah Grout, 1 
wife and 3 children, Benjamin Garfield, 2 wife and 1 daughter. In 
the morning the three men, with two sons of Mr. How, went to 
work in a meadow on the bank of the river a little above the fort. 
They started on their return about sunset. How and his boys were 
on horseback, and had got a little ahead of the others. When rising 
the meadow hill to the northward of the fort, they were fired upon 
by the concealed ambush. How received a shot in the thigh which 
brought him to the ground ; when the Indians fell upon him, scalped 
him, and striking a hatchet into his head left him for dead. The 
boys were taken alive. The other two men attempted to escape by 
crossing the river. Grout succeeded ; but Garfield was drowned. 
As soon as it grew dark the Indians went to the fort, and making the 
proper signal (which they had learned by skulking around the gate) 
were admitted, and made prisoners of the women and children. The 

< Hilkiah Grout was b. at Lunenburg, Mass., July 23, 1728 ; m. Submit Hawks of 

'' Benj. Garrield was probably son of Benj. and Bethia (How) Garfield, b. at Marlboro. 
May 6, 171 8 ; m. Eunice Cooley daughter of Benjamin. 

The Last French and Indian War. 291 

fort was then fired, and the captives started on the way to Canada. 1 
The next morning a party of men found Mr. How alive •, and took 
him across the river to Hins'dell's fort, where he soon after died. 

" On one of the last days of June," an attack was made on the 
fort at KLeene, then in command of Capt. William Syms. The 
savages were beaten off; but in their retreat they killed many cattle, 
burned several buildings, and captivated Benjamin Twichel. 2 

July 22. The Indians ambushed Hinsdell's fort. The following 
letter gives the particulars : 

To Gov. Wentworth : Deerfidd ^ "• «755- 

I this initanc received an exprefs from my wife at Hinfdell's fort informing 
me that about 9 o'clock this morning a party of Indians attacked 7 men within 
100 rods of the fort, who were out to get a few polls to complete the new picket- 
ing of the fort : they had 4 on guard and 3 with the team. They had drawn 
but one Hick before the enemy fired upon them, and having got between them 
and the fort endeavored to prevent them getting in Four of the men were 
foldiers and three inhabitants ; one foldier named Heath, and one inhabitant, 
viz. Amafa Wright efcaped to the fort. The foldiers that arc milling are Jona- 
than Colby, Hardway (Hardiclay ?) andOuimby. The inhabitants miffing are 
two : we hope fome may be hid and come in ; but one of the foldiers fays he 
faw the Indians take off" two or three as he flood in the fentry box of the fort. 
P. S. Mr. Hardway was found dead upon the fpot with both his brcafls cut 
off and his heart laid open. One of the inhabitants (John Alexander) was 
found within 60 rods of the fort, and both fcalped. We fee Colby taken off 
by the Indians. We fired feveral larums, and the Great Gun at Fort Dummer 
was fhot. Thirty men from Northfield came to our afliflance, and helped to 
bury the dead. They followed the Indians, and found Colby's track who was 
barefoot. They found no blood, which gives us reafon to hope Colby is well. 
The reft is efcaped to the fort. Abigail Hinsdale. 

Col. Hinsdell adds, " we are loath to tarry here merely to be 

July 22 or 23, two men were killed by the Indians at Walpole, 
N. H. Daniel Twichel and John Flint went back upon the hills one 
and a half miles from the street, to cut timber for oars. Both were 
shot dead ; one was scalped, the other cut open, his heart taken out 
and laid in pieces upon his breast. 

July 25. Seth Field writes : 

Since the difafterous tidings from Ohio, and the delay of the Crown Point 
forces, the mifchicf done above us together with our circumllanccs, has fo dif- 

'Mrs. Jemima How was known as "The Fair Captive." For interesting particulars or* 
the journey, imprisonment and release, see her Narrative in Belknap's Hist, of New Hump- 
ihirt, vol. in. 

"* Mau. Archi-vety lxxvii, 727. 

292 History of Northfield. 

couraged the hearts of our people that they are almoft ready to give up all and 
care only tbr their lives. A fine harveft is on the ground, and likely to be loft 
for want of a guard. The few i'oldicrs we have are conftantly on duty, and 
not half fufficient to guard the laborers. Aflts that one of the companies of 
Rangers that arc between the Connecticut and the Merrimack rivers may be fent 
to fcout for a few weeks ro the northward of Northfield : fays Capt. Rice of 
Rutland is ready to come. * * 

August 17. A large body of Indians (stated at 400) ambushed the 
house of John FCilburn in Walpole. There were in the house, which 
was situated about half a mile from Col. Bellows's fort, Kilburn, his 
wife Ruth, his son John and daughter Hetty, a man by the name of 
Peak and his son. This handful of people in a small log house, sus- 
tained the constant fire of the large body of savages from dinner time 
till sunset — returning the fire with such determination and fatal ef- 
fect, that the enemy then withdrew, taking his dead and wounded 
with him. Peak was wounded in the thigh, which for lack of surgi- 
cal care, caused his death on the fifth day. 1 

Among the names of men belonging to Northfield and vicinity in the 
Crown Point expedition this year, are the following: In Capt. Elijah 
Williams's company, June 12 to Nov. 21 ; Lieut. Seth Field, Corp. 
Eleazar Patterson, Gideon Shattuck, Richard Carey, Nathaniel Cham- 
berlain, Daniel Shattuck Jr., Zadock Wright, Moses Wright, Eben r 
Severance, Hilkiah Grout, Joseph Perry, William Sanderson, Aaron 
Scott, John Sergeant, Fairbanks Moor, Daniel Sergeant, John Kathan, 
Daniel Gun, Elisha Scott, James Porter. In other companies ; Ens. 
John Stratton, Sergt. Joseph Alexander, Pedajah Field, Joseph Burt, 
Samuel Hunt Jr., Asa Stratton, John Beamont, Noah Belding, 
Benoni Wright Jr., Elias Bascom, Shammah Pomeroy and Simeon 
Knight, were in Capt. Joseph Dwight's company. Jonathan Belding 
was in Cupt. Samuel How's company, Aug. 11 to Dec. 27. 

Having spent two months in gathering stores, etc., Gen. Johnson 
marched from Albany, and reached the south end of Lake George the 
latter part of August. While here he received news that a body of 
2000 French and Indians under Baron Dieskau had landed at White- 
hall, and were marching towards Fort Edward. At a council of war 
held on the morning of Sept. 8, it was resolved to send a detachment 
of 1200 men under command of Col. Ephraim Williams, to intercept 
the French. This detachment fell into an ambuscade ; and Col. 
Williams, Hendrick a Mohawk sachem, and 46 men were killed, 24 
were wounded, and others were missing. Among the killed were 
Ens. John Stratton and his brother Asa. Flushed with his temporary 

1 Hall's Hi it. af Eastern Vermont, pp. 739-42. 

The Last French and Indian War. 293 

success, Baron Dieskau pressed forward and made an attack in force 
on Johnson's camp. For four hours the battle raged with the great- 
est fury : when the Baron ordered a retreat. Dieskau was wounded 
and fell into the hands of the English. The French loss was set 
down at 400 killed and 200 wounded and 30 prisoners. The loss of 
the English in both engagements was 216 killed, 96 wounded, and 
15 missing. 

Offensive operations soon after ceased : and Gen. Johnson after 
partially finishing Fort William Henry, on the bank of the lake, and 
posting a garrison there, dismissed his troops. The result of the cam- 
paign was highly beneficial, as it showed the provincial troops that in 
fair fight they were more than a match for the French regulars. 

Dec. 11. A detail of soldiers from Capt. Israel Williams's company 
was stationed at Northfield to do garrison duty, who continued in service 
here till Mar. 22, '56 : Sergt. Joseph Allen, William White, Seth 
Smith, Benj. Wells, Stephen Belding, Joseph Bodman, Medad Field, 
Obadiah Wells, Amos Tute, Zech. Gilson, Nathaniel Dickinson, 
Samuel Stevens. 

Some New Hampshire troops were in service on the river frontier, 
for a time during the fall, as appears from the following letter, dated 
Hinsdale Dec. 23, 1755, addressed to Gov. Benning Wentworth : 

" V Excellency was pleafed to order me the billeting of Capt. Window and 
men while on thefe frontiers, and alfo Capt. Neal and company, while at my 
garrifon and places adjacent. They have all fubfiilcd here during their ftay and 
were furnifhed with provifions on their return to carry them home, except 
the time Capt. Neal's men were at Charlcftown, when Lieut. Parker provided 
for them. Eben 1 " Hinsdell." 

Learning that New Hampshire had decided to furnish no further 
aid to these towns, Col. Hinsdell in behalf of the rest of the inhabit- 
ants of Hinsdale, sent the following petition to the governor of Massa- 

Hinfdcll's Garrifon Jan. l, 1756. 

Y r petitioners entered into pofleflion and improvement of thefe lands under 
your grant and encouragement for many years pail. They have been protected 
from time to time in the improvement of them by your provident care: That 
by the running of the new Province line, the township of Northfield was bi- 
fected, and y r petitioners in confcquence excluded from y r Province: and even 
fince the running of the line they have received a kind protection from you 
when neglected by the Province of New Hampdiirc. 

We are living in one of the molt expofed places in thefe parts : are in the 
road of the enemy's defcent on the Englifh frontiers by the way of Otter creek 
and Well river. Although No. 4 be 30 miles above us on the Connecticut river. 

294 History of Northfield. 

yet the diftance from Crown Point to us by Weil river is near the fame as to 
them by Black river: And as their defcenc upon us is eafy, we fufFered much 
by them in the lait war ; and in the fummer pail the greateit number has been 
killed or captivated from this place of any other in thefe parts. * * 

We have been conlidcrably protected in the fummer palt by men from New 
Hampfhire guarding us while gathering our crops : but, notwithilanding, 18 of our 
fmall number were killed or taken, fome of our buildings and a number of our 
cattle deltroyed : And now thofe forces have been withdrawn for fome months 
palt, and we are wholly deititute. * * We are notable to protect ourselves, and 
have little hope of protection from New Hampfhire, * * and we are encour- 
aged to feek to you not only from y r wonted goodnefs toward us, but becaufe 
we have one of the belt fortifications for the covert of men that might be em- 
ployed in fcouting up the known roads of the enemy for the feafonable dis- 
covery or interruption of them in their approach towards the Englifh fetde- 
ments, whether in fummer or winter. Unlefs we have y r kind, we 
cannot continue here, but mult depart to fome other parts we know noc whither." 

1756. But the people of Hinsdale were not alone in their anxiety 
about the coming season. Northfield had received so poor protec- 
tion from the troops during the last year, that her situation appeared 
desperate, unless some effectual means were taken early — as the fol- 
lowing letter will show : 

-r r- l ty 1 wit: "Northfield, fan. 27, 1756. 

To Col. Ilrael Williams, •' ' J 

Hon a Sir: Whereas the time of year draws near in which we have reafon 

to exped the enemy will make terrible attempts upon the frontiers, fo we of this 

town have great reafon to fear we (hall fufFer the firit (hock from them, in as 

much as we are very weakhanded and lie open to the enemy, and none to 

guard us and none to make difcovery of them till they are upon us : — we 

humbly beg of you Sir, (in behalf of the town) to ufe your utmoft endeavors 

that we may be well prote&ed by a fufficient number of foldiers to fcout this 

winter, and to guard us in our hufbandry in the enfuing fpring and fummer, and 

that we may not be a gap open as in times pall. Sir, you are well acquainted 

with our fituation and difficult circumftances, and you oannot but know it was 

impoffiblc for us to be well guarded in our labors by fo few men as was allowed 

us laft fummer. We trull Sir, you have a real concern for our interell and 

welfare, and will heartily fcrve us in the befl manner you can. We now herein 

apply ourfclvcs to you, and beg your favor and influence, and fubferibe our- 


Y r humble fervants 

Jona Belding 
Samuel Hunt 
Nathaniel Mattoon 
Seth Field 
Joshua Lyman 
Nehemiah Wricht 
Phinehas Wricht 

The Last French and Indian War. 295 

It does not appear that this petition produced any effect. The 
small detail of men for garrison duty, under Serg' Allen, was con- 
tinued till Oct. 18, with the following list of names : William Whit:, 
Elijah Sheldon, Benj. Wells, Reuben Belding, James Bodman, 
Medad Field, Nathaniel Dickinson, Abraham Wells, Zechariah Gil- 
son, Amos Tute. Mar. 23, Col. Williams sends the following order 
to Lieut. Hawks about posting these soldiers : 

M Poft the men at Northfield at two garrifons, or at one if the inhabitants 
defire it: in either cafe they are to be removed from one garrifon to anocher 
fo that the four may (hare alternately in the advantage. They muit watch and 
ward, if deiired. I expect the inhabitants to aflift them, and that punctually. 
If Rationed at one fort only, the foldicrs may well perform the whole duty of 
watching and warding. Confidering the fewnefs of foldiers, I cant think you can 
tend more than one garrifon at a time, and afford a fufficicnt guard for the peo- 
ple at their labor." 

The policy of the government, acting under the aflvice of the British 
generals, appears to have been, that the provincial regiments should 
be required to furnish their full quotas of men under pay for the lead- 
ing expeditions ; and at the same lime the local militia should guard 
their own frontiers, without expectation of reward. This plan was 
effectual to fill the marching regiments, and garrisons ; but it greatly de- 
moralized the home forces, and disheartened the people. 

The plan of the campaign of 1756 embraced the reduction of the 
forts at Crown Point and Niagara. But through the incapacity of the 
British commander, Gen. Abercrombie, "the summer passed in 
fruitless labor." 

An army of 7000 men was raised — by far the larger part in Massa- 
chusetts — and mustered for the expedition against Crown Point. 
The command of this force was given to Major-General Winslow of 
Massachusetts. But his march was delayed by obstacles ascribed to 
the improvidence of Abercrombie. 

What was going on nearer home will appear from the following 
letters : 

Northfield June 7, 1756. 

This evening a poll from Winchefler informs that the Indians have taken 
Jofiah Fofter, his wife and two children from the Bow in Winchelter, about 
10 o'clock in the morning as 'tis conjectured ; though not difcovered till the fun 
about two hours high this evening. The houfe-Ms rifled and a hog killed at the 
door. The man and a child tracked from the houfe with the Indians. The num- 
bers cannot be afcertaincd, but fuppofed to be about 6 or 8 in all. 

Seih Field." 

2g 6 History of Northfield. 

Letter from Col. Ifrael Williams. 

Hatfield, July 13, 1756. 
" Many of the people on the frontiers work in jeopardy of their lives every 
hour; none to guard or defend them, but at their own coft. Their fituation 
is very diftrefTed. Many of the militia of my regiment have freely ranged the 
woods, and gone to (he relief of their neighbors in diftrefs. I make no doubt 
the enemy have difcovered this and thereby been intimidated : But they dont 
think it's reafonable to employ their whole time that way without any reward 
from the public, which they are told they muft not expedt. I fee not but the 
enemy are likely to dwell amongft us, to harafs, vex and ruin us; unlefs some 
other meafurcs are foon gone into." * * 

Among the men in the service this year are the following — 
mostly Northfield names : In Capt. Fairbanks Moor's company at 
No. 4, June 21 to April II, '57, Benoni Wright, Uriah Morse, Gideon 
Shattuck. In Capt. John Burk's company, Crown Point expedition, 
Simeon Knight, Zadock Wright, Elias Bascom.' In Capt. William 
Lyman's company Sept. 10, to Dec. 11, John Alexander, Miles 
Alexander, Samuel Mattoon. 

Mujler-roll of Capt. John Cat/in 2a" s Co., in fervice at the wejiward 

Oft. 13, to Dec. 11. 

Capt John Catlin 2d, Jona. Belding, Elijah Mitchell, 

Lieut. Phinehas Wright, Bildad Andros, Jofeph Catlin, 

Sergt. Jofeph Smcad, Philip Mattoon, Seth Catlin, 

Nath 1 Dickinfon, Samuel Hunt Jr., John Hawks Jr., 

James Corfe, Reuben Wright, Phin. Mun, 

Mofes Bafcom, Pedajah Field Jr., Jofeph Rugg, 

Mofes Wright, John Petty, Agrippa Wells, 

Samuel Belding, William Orvis, Simon Stevens', 

Eldad Wright, Samuel Smith, Tho s Alexander, 

Simeon Alexander, Sam 1 Merriman, Auguftus Wells. 

John Holton, Mofes Stebbins, 

Owing to the discouragements and derangement of business inci- 
dental to the war, Northfield had neglected to raise money for a 
school for two years. The matter coming to the knowledge of the 
county court, a precept was issued, and served on the town. Aug. 
10, a town meeting was called, " to choose an agent to answer to a 
complaint made against our town for not having a school master to 
teach our children to read and write." 

' Mucs Bascum certifies, chat in Sept. 1756, he brought Elias Bascom home from Fort 
Edward on a horse. 

The Last French and Indian War. 297 

Zebediah Stebbins and Reuben Wright. — Notwithstanding 

the dangers and alarms, some of the farmers undertook to cultivate 

their out-lands this year. Joseph Stebbins (whose removal to his log 

house up near the great bend was narrated on page 277) put in crops 

on his newly broken lands, while his family lived at Evens's stockade 

across the river. August 20, Zebediah Stebbins and Reuben 

Wright went up from Northfield, to work on their lots near Stebbins's 

Island. Just as they started to return, they were assaulted by a small 

party of Indians in ambush. The leading facts of the encounter are 

given in a letter written the next day : 

" Northfield Aug. 21, 1756. 
To Maj. Williams, Deerfidd, 

Sir: As two of our Northfield men, viz: Zebediah Stebbins and Reuben 
Wright, were returning from their labor lalt night about fun half an hour high, 
a little below Jofeph Stebbins's Ifland, an Indian laying in the path 6 or 7 rods 
before them, fired and (hot Wright through the right arm between the 
moulder and elbow. They turned and rode back 3 or 4 fcore rods and halted, 
when the enemy immediately came up and fired a fecond gun at them. The 
men then perceived that there were not more than 3 or 4 Indians ; buc Hill 
rode back a few rods and Hopped to have the Indians come up (though they 
had but one gun). In a minute an Indian came in fight in the path, when 
Stebbins fired, and the Indian fell and cried out. Stebbins and Wright made 
off as fall as they could. 

The Indians were after Jofeph Stebbins, as 'tis fuppofed, who was at work 
at his houfe, and who faw 3 of the enemy follow' our men. Some of our 
farmers had in too much hafte got out to their homes : but we fee that we are 
Hill in danger, and I hope we (hall take warning and Hand better on our guard. 

Y r humble ferv 1 , 

Seth Field." 

Tradition adds some particulars to this official statement. Reuben 
Wright was a daring, go-ahead man, and noted as a furious rider •, he 
would never break his horse from a gallop even when he was lighting 
his pipe with steel and flint. His neighbor was just the reverse. But 
this morning Stebbins was up first, and called for Wright before he 
was ready to start ; and all the way up to the great bend was in a 
hurry, taking the lead. When they started, near sundown, to return, 
Wright took the lead as was his habit j and received the Indian's fire. 
He had the only gun, and tried to return the fire, but could not raise 
the piece with his wounded arm. After, the second shot, Stebbins 
took the gun, and after retreating some distance and out of sight of 
the enemy, both turned into the thicket. Presently the head of an 
Indian appeared over a swell in the road. The savage appeared to 

298 History of Nortbfield, 

be looking for traces of blood, and was so intent that he did not raise 
his eyes till he received Stebbins's ball in his breast, when he leaped 
into the air and fell backward. A pool of blood was found there the 
next day. 

The three Indians were watching Joseph Stebbins, who- with two 
boys was taking up oats near his house. When he heard the first 
gun he snatched up one of the lads, took him upon his back, ran to 
the river and crossed just above Pomeroy's island to Evens's stockade. 
The other boy hid in the bushes. The Indians passed close to him 
but did not detect his hiding place. He was almost dead with fright, 
so that when the party from across the river came to search for him, 
he could not move towards them, and when they called it was a long 
time before he could answer. 

The Fall qy Oswego. — While Gen. Winslow was delayed in 
his intended movement on Crown Point, the French under Montcalm 
invested the English fort at Oswego, on the south side of Lake 
Ontario ; and after a short siege took it August 14. Our loss was 
1700 men — Shirley's and Pepperell's regiments — 7 armed vessels 
carrying from 8 to 18 guns each, 200 bateaux, 107 cannons, 14 
mortars, 730 muskets, besides stores. Many of the prisoners were 
massacred by the Indians, and the rest were sent to France. 

Anxiety about the plans of the victorious Montcalm led the 
Massachusetts authorities to issue orders about the first of October 
for impressing men from the militia, to go to the support of the army 
under Maj. Gen. Winslow. The following were impressed out of 
the Northfield Foot company : Corp. Thomas Alexander, Moses 
Evens, Ebenezer Field, Samuel Field, Eliphaz Wright, Amzi Doo- 
little, Samuel Stratton, Philip Mattoon, Alexander Norton, Asahel 
Stebbins, Jona. Hunt, Samuel Orvis, Daniel Brooks, Amasa 
Wright, Benj. Miller, Reuben Wright, Thomas Elgar. — As soon 
as the draft was completed, Capt. Seth Field wrote the following 

letter to Col. Israel Williams : 

"Northfield Oct. 5, 1756. 
Sir : The men imprelTed are the ftrength and fupport of the town : Many 
of them with great families, and under the molt difficult circumftances co leave, 
efpecially in the frontiers ; but I am obliged to cake fuch or none. Our people 
are in the utnioft diftrefs at the thought of having this town ftrippcd of che 
firit men in it, and there is a general backwardnefs amongft the men to go and 
leave their families in fuch fituation and under their difficult circumftances ; 
for as foon as they leave the town we (hall be able to make but a faint refiftance 
againft the enemy and mult lie at his mercy. We have indeed forts, and but 
a few feeble men to guard and defend them. Pity and companion cries loud 

The Last French and Indian War. 299 

for an exemption from the double burden lying on the frontiers, and efpecially 
poor Northfield who has been walling away by the hand of the enemy thefe 
ten years paft. 

Sir, begging your favor for the diftrefTed town, I am 

Y T humble ferv 1 , 

Seth Field." 

Oct. 5. Lieut. Parker, an express, brought a letter from a captive 
in Canada, to Col. Hinsdell, to be forwarded with all possible speed 
to Capt. Seth Field, desiring he will forward it to Col. Williams at 
Hatfield. All that is known of the contents is from the following 
note by Col. Hinsdell : " While the Express is refreshing himself I 
only minute the express to me, informing that said captive says he 
knows many of the captives taken from these parts : That James 
Johnson with his wife and two youngest children are in gaol at 
Quebec : That those taken at How's are all well : That Foster's 
family got well to Canada : That there are a vast number of captives 
in Canada, and that they are scattered about at labor in the place of 
the French gone to the war. That the French officers much ridicule 
our officers for giving up Oswego so soon. That the Indians were 
very backward in going to the war before they took Oswego, but are 
now one and all engaged with the French." 

Sergt. Joseph Allen with 11 men was posted at Northfield from 
Oct. .19, to Jan. 23, '57. 

1757. This was a year of disasters to the English, and was re- 
membered throughout the colonies, for three generations, as the year 
oi " the great alarm about the taking of Fort William Henry." 

The principal event of interest in the Connecticut valley, was the 
attack by a large force of French and Indians, April 19, on No. 4. 
There was only a handful of soldiers — among whom was Benoni 
Wright of Northfield, at the fort. And that morning, Ens. David 
Farnsworth, Bradstreet Spafford, and Samson Colefax went to work 
at the mill ; Dea. Thomas Adams, William Porter, and Jacob Sartle 
went out in the woods to the sugar camp ; and Asa SpafFord, George 
Robbins, John Grandy, and Asahel Stebbins went hunting. 

The attack was made on the party at the mill, where they took 
Colefax and Farnsworth. After burning the mill, the Indians went 
for the sugaring party, and captured Dea. Adams; and afterwards 
they secured Robbins and Asa SpafFord. 1 Farnswortn and Robbins 
returned ; the others died in Canada. 

In the course of the preceding winter, Capt. John Burk had raised 

1 The IVilliami Pafxrt, in Mass. Hist. Soc. Library. 


History of Northfield. 

a lar^e number of' men, to be employed in the ranging service. The 
company was mustered March 2 ; and the roll contains the names of 
55 men, though the average number in service at any one time was 
about 45. Among the names are the following : 

Capt. John Burk, Fall 


Lieut. Salali Barnard, 


Dan. Corfc 


Richard Carey 


Perez Bard well 


Nathaniel Sartlc 


Nathaniel Dickinlbn 


Serg 1 Henry Stiles 


Jona. Belding 


Zechariah Gilfon 


Joieph How Jr. 


Zadock Wright, 


Zebediah Stebbins 


Seth Role 


Jonathan Hunt 


Simeon Knight 


Azariah Wright 


Amos Tutc 


Serg 1 Samuel Taylor 


John Bement Jr. 


Reuben Pecty 


Obed Severance 


Ebcnezer Stoddard 


Theoph. Chamberlain 



Rufus Brown, 

Samuel Orvis, 

Jacob Elmer " 

Michael Frizzel " 

Daniel Evans, Hopkinton 

Dilenton Johnfon, Southboro' 

Elijah Reed 

Joftiua Newton " 

Timothy Pierce, Framingham 

Samuel Carley, Marlboro' 

Jofeph Byram, Bridgewater 

Thomas Rofe, Montague 

Ifrael Scott, " 

Gideon Rofe Jr., Scituate 

Jonathan Carver 

Samuel Prefton 

Willard Stevens 

Lemuel Smead 

Simeon King 

Samuel Shattuck 

William Patterfon 

David Patterfon 

Mofes Severance 

Eliakim Brooks 

This company had headquarters at Hinsdell's fort, and at Burk's 
own garrison, during a part of the spring, and towards the end of 
summer was ordered to Fort William Henry. 

Shammah Pomeroy, Asahel Stebbins and Benoni Wright were in 
Capt. Catlin's company at Pontoosuck, Aug. 22 to Nov. 4. 

A large army was raised, nominally for operations against Crown 
Point and Ticonderoga ; but by orders of Lord Loudon, then com- 
manding in the Provinces, the bulk of the forces were drawn off in 
an expedition against Louisburg — which proved a failure. Only 
7000 men — 4000 under Gen. Webb at Fort Edward, and 3000 under 
Col. Munroe at Fort William Henry — were left for the defence of 
the northwestern frontiers. 

While the English were in this weakened condition, Gen. Mont- 
calm gathered a French and Indian army of 11 000 men, and con- 
centrated at Ticonderoga. Aug. 3, with 9000 of his best troops, 
including 1000 Indians, he invested Fort William Henry. For 6 

The Last French and Indian War. 301 

days Col. Munroe with an effective force of 2372 men held the great 
army at bay, constantly expecting aid from Gen. Webb, who was 
lying only 15 miles distant with 4000 men. But no help came ; and 
on the 9th, the Fort was surrendered. The defence had been so 
gallant, that Col. Munroe was admitted to an honorable capitulation ; 
viz. that his troops should be allowed to march out with the honors 
of war, retaining their arms, baggage and one field-piece. The 
articles of the capitulation however, were shamefully broken. The 
Indians attached to Montcalm's army, without hindrance from the 
French officers, commenced to plunder the more valuable baggage ; 
and then to murder both officers and men in cold blood. The 
numbers thus massacred could never be known ; but it fell little short 
of 300. Capt. John Burk was seized by the Indians, stripped of arms 
and clothing ; but being a powerful man threw off" his captors, and 
escaped to the woods, where he passed the night ; and the next day 
reached Fort Edward. Of his company the following were in the 
capitulation : Lieut. Salah Barnard, Serge Samuel Taylor, Sergt. 
Henry Stiles, Jona. Belding, John Beamont Jr., Daniel Evans, Zech. 
Gilson, Joseph How Jr., Dilenton Johnson, Simeon Knight, Reuben 
Petty, Timothy Pierce, Seth Rose. 

This disaster spread consternation throughout Massachusetts. All 
the militia rushed to arms ; and almost before they could get the 
governor's orders to march, Col. Worthington's, Col. Williams's 
and Col. Ruggles's regiments were on the way " for the relief of the 
army at Fort William Henry." Gov. Pownal issued orders to Sir 
Wm. Pepperell at Springfield, dated Boston Aug. 13, noon — u If 
the enemy [Montcalm's forces] should approach the frontiers, you 
will order all wagons west of the Connecticut river to have their 
wheels knocked ofF, and to drive the said country of all horses, to 
order all provisions that can be brought off", and what cannot, to 
destroy ; and you will receive this as my order, not to be executed 
but in case of necessity, and then not to fail to do it. Signed 

Thomas Pownal." 

The militia was out from 7 to 14 days ; when finding that the 
French general did not pursue his advantage, the companies were 
ordered home. 

The sudden excitement, and forced marches without suitable cloth- 
ing and provisions and shelter, brought on sickness among the troops. 
Hospitals were established at Westfield, Sheffield, and other places 
on the routes westward ; and there was great suffering, and many 

302 History of Northfield. 

An incident occurred in Northfield street, during this excitement, 
which well illustrates the times. — Submit Belding, daughter of Lieut. 
Jonathan, was engaged to be married to David Keyes of Western 
(now Warren) Mass. The wedding day was set for the last of August. 
Early in the summer she went to Hatfield and bought her wedding 
dress, an English cloth, of scarlet color, and specially fine texture, 
for the times. This was made up, and laid away. She also wove 
an extra nice bed blanket. A week before the time set for the 
wedding, on a clear morning she hung out the dress and blanket on 
the clothes-line for an airing. Hearing a noise in the yard, she 
looked out, just in time to see an Indian throwing her pet blanket 
over his shoulders, and putting her dress under his arm. To her 
earnest appeal he only grunted " very pretty ! " and stalked ofF towards 
the Great swamp. 

1758. The plan of the campaign for this year included the invest- 
ment of Louisburg ; and expeditions against Ticonderoga and Fort 
Du Quesne. The first and last were successful ; that against 
Ticonderoga was a disastrous failure, — though it was in part com- 
pensated by the capture of the French fort Frontenac on Lake 

Massachusetts raised 7000 men for the army. 

Capt. John Burk and his company of Rangers were in service, 
guarding the frontiers, sometimes in garrison and sometimes on the 
march, from April 15, to Nov. 30. Twenty-six men were posted 
at Morrison's garrison in Colrain, 10 at the North, and 10 at the 
South garrison ; 10 at Sheldon's and i2atBurk's in Falltown ; 12 
at Northfield ; 10 at Greenfield ; 10 at Huntstown ; 13 at Hawks's, 
15 at Taylor's, 7 at Rice's in Charlemont ; 13 at Stockbridge ; 17 
at Pontoosuck ; and Capt. Wyman and the usual number of men at 
Fort Massachusetts. 

The men in garrison at Northfield were : Sergt. Josiah Foster, 
Daniel Shattuck, Oliver Barrett, Bela Graves, Ebenezer Holton, 
Solomon Sartwell, Samuel Negus, Ebenezer Harvey, Aaron Petty, 
Nath 1 Chamberlain, Jona. Burr. 

On the muster-roll of Capt. Salah Barnard's company, Col. 
William Williams's regiment, March 13 to Dec. 13, for reduction of 
Canada, are : 

Capt. Salah Bar.iard, Deerfield Jofiah Olds, Northfield 

Ens. Thomas Alexander, Northfield Benj. Emmons Hatfield 

Serg 1 Eleazar Pattcrfon, " Julius Allis " 

drummer, Job Smith " Eben r Belding 

John Alexander " Eben r Bardwcll Jr. 


The Last French and Indian War. 



Nathan Beach 
Richard Chamberlain 
Abial Chamberlain 
Jacob Elmer 
Thomas Elgar 
Michael Frizzel 
Benj. Miller 
Samuel Orvis 
Darius Wadkins 
Amos Tute 


Perez Bardwell 


Sam 1 Bardwell 
Michael Gilfon 
Nehemiah How '* 

Joel Alexander, Amherft 
Nath 1 Dickinfon, Deerfield 
David Johnfon, Pelham 
Wm Kentfield, Cold Spring 
Benj. Knight " 

Thomas Stearns 

In Maj. John Hawks's company, April 15 to Nov. 16, are the 
following names : Hilkiah Grout, and Richard Carey, of Deerfield, 
Benj. Cooley, Miles Alexander and Jona. Field of Sunderland, 
Shammah Pomeroy of Northampton. On other rolls are found : 
Moses Wright, Charles Wright, Israel Warner, James Corse, Gad 
Corse, Simeon Burt, Aaron Field, Stephen Crowfoot. 

Ens. Alexander's Diary. — Ens. Thomas Alexander kept a 
diary of the march of his company and all special events, from the 
time they left Deerfield May 27, to Oct. 31. It has historical value 
in fixing dates, and giving facts not generally known, and is here 
copied in all its material parts. 

"May 27, 1758. Cape Barnard received orders to march to Northampton ; 
and Sunday the 28th went to church : Monday the 29th received (lores : Tuef- 
day the 30th we march edto the Coffee houfe : Wednefday the 31ft we marched 
to Weftfield river. June 3, we marched 18 miles, arrived at Pontoofuck, the 
way being bad we had a tedious march this day. Sunday the 4th we encamped 
near the garrifon. Col. Williams and Mr. Woodbridge overtakes us this evening. 
5th, we wait at this place for the troops to join us. Jun. 6th, The whole of the 
regiment join us this day. 7th, Col. Williams marched the whole regiment 
for Greenbufh, by the way of Cornameag, 13 miles this day. 8th, We marched 
15 miles; lodged at a place called Walnut kill. 9th, marched 9 miles, 
and came to Greenbufh. 10th, received flores for 7 days. I ith, we marched 

6 miles ; encamped near the river above the flats, t 2th, we marched 5 miles ; 
crofTed the river at the Half Moon, then marched 5 miles ; lodged at Nanta- 
wamp. 1 8th, we marched to Still Water ; encamped in the bufh. 14th, 
marched this day to Sallytoga 15 miles. 15th, marched to Miller's fort, 

7 miles. 1 6th, marched to Fort Edward. 17th, we encamped on the weft 
fide of the river. 1 8th, Sunday made a breaft work. 19th, This d^y 
a French gentleman came to Fort Edward with a flag of truce ; a bridge 
of boats was alfo laid over the river 464 feet. 20th, This day the regi- 
ment got timber for a hofpital. 21ft, received orders to march. 23d, fix 
companies of Col. Williams's regiment marched to the Half Way Brook. 

304 History of Nortbfield. 

25th, This day we work at building the fort at Half Way Brook. 26th, the 
fame. 27th, it rained. 28th, we marched from Half Way Brook to Lake 
George. 29th, Col. Lyman came to the Lake. 30th, a man was (hot. July 
2, Sunday I went on guard. 3d, the General came to view the camp. 4th, 
we received 6 day's allowance and orders to fail. 5th, we failed from Lake 
George to Ticonderoga. 6th, we landed the advance guard and took 130 
French. 7th, Friday we marched to the mills at the falls. 8th, Saturday we 
went againft the fort and was defeated. 9th, Sunday we retreated to Fort 
George. 10th, we received ftores. 11th, we received powder and ball. 13th 
Thurfday we removed our tents to the back fide of the fort. Sunday the 16th, 
Mr. Woodbridge preached a fermon to the regiment. 17th, Col. Williams 
removed his camp to the old encampment. i8th, we threw up a new intrench- 
ment. 20th, ten men from Lake George going to half way Brook were fired 
upon by a party of Indians, all killed and fcalped but one ; and thofe in the 
fort going to affift them were beat back. Loft in the whole 18 and five miffing 
Sunday the 23d, Mr. Woodbridge preached. 24th, I went a fifhing. 25th 
a man was hanged for ftealing. Friday the 28th, the enemy laid an ambufh- 
ment between Fort Edward and half way Brook, and deftroyed the teams and 
the ftores and killed about 20 men. Upon the news Maj. Rogers and Maj. 
Putnam about one o'clock in the night went out with 700 men to the South 
Bay to cut off the party, but were too late. Sunday the 30th, Col. Lyman 
with a thoufand men failed to Sunday Point. 31ft, we returned to the advance 
guard and there received orders to return to a little ifland this fide of firft 
Narrows and there to fend a party of men to the South Bay. Tuefday the 

I ft of Auguft, we lay on the ifland all day, and the 2d returned to the camp. 
4th, I was lent down the lake by the General as far as the firft Narrows with 

II men, and returned the 5th. Sunday the 6th, Mr.' Woodbridge preached. 
8th, Maj. Rogers and Maj. Putnam being at Fort Ann on Wood Creek with 
700 men were engaged by 500 French and Indians, and they beat them off 
from the ground and got 52 fcalps and 2 prifoners, and loft 20 men, 50 wounded 
and 20 miffing. Friday I ith, a flag of truce. Tuefday 29th, on the news of 
Louifburg being taken, the General ordered the cannon to be fired 63 in all, and 
the whole army, to ftand round the lines and to begin the fire at the Innifkillin 
regiment, and fo round the whole line three times. 31ft, Col. William 
Williams's regiment was muftcred before the Brigade major. Sunday Sept. 3d, 
I went witn a party to make a brcaftwork at the fouth-eaft end of the Lake. 
Tuefday $th, I received a letter from Father that gave the account of Afahel 
Stebbins and wife being taken at No. 4. 8th, I went from Lake George to 
Half way Brook with Col. Havcling [Haviland] and was ftationed there. 
Saturday 9th, the picket from Fort William Henry coming to half way Brook, 
they fent a final! party to inform the Colonel that they were a coming, was (hot 
upon by the enemy, one fcrgeant was killed and one man wounded. 1 ith, 
we received ftores at halfway Brook. 12th, we went to efcort the teams from 
Fort Edward to Half way Brook. Friday the 22d, we were relieved from half 
way Brook and returned to Lake George. 24th, I went to efcort the teams 

The Last French and Indian War. 305 

from Lake George co Half way Brook. Friday October i 31b, Sergeant Patterfon 
returned home from Lake George. Monday 16th, Sergeant Taylor went home 
in order to fetch horfes. Saturday 21ft, it fnowed at night. Sunday zzd, we 
received orders to march home. 23d, marched as far as half way Brook and 
brought 9 bateaux with us. 24th, we came to Miller's fort. 25th we marched 
from Fort Miller to the Great Flcy. 26th, we camped at Half way houfe. 
27th, we camped at Greenbufh. 28th, we took our allowance. Sunday Oct. 
29, we marched to Canterhook. 30th, we marched to Spurr's." 

Mention is made in the preceding Diary of the return home of 
Sergt. Patterson Oct. 13. The following petition gives the parti- 
culars : 

" Y r petitioner ferved as a foldier in the Canada Expedition in the year 1758, 
in Capt. Salah Barnard's Co. : was taken fick at Lake George Sept. 1 3 ; con- 
tinued flck there 28 days, then difmifled an invalid to return home. Was at 
the expenfe of felf man and horfe fenc from home to the Lake to help me along 
the road being unable to travel on foot and alone, which charge amounted to 
$10 ; befides 4 pounds I paid to the man for himfelf and horfe going to the 
Lake, being 20 days from the time he left home till we returned ; and I was 
confined to my houfe 3 months more — Afks for help from the public treafury. 

Eleazak. Patterson." 

Bill of Expenfes at the Lake. 

£. s. d. 

For rum,... 060 

Wine, 090 

3 lbs. fugar, 046 

Expenfe on the way home, ,.. 300 

At home, nurfe 1 3 weeks at 4 fhillings, 2 12 o 

2 galls, rum, 0120 

1 gall, wine, 080 

10 lbs. butter, 050 

10 lbs. fugar, 068 

Peck of Indian flour, 008 

2 lbs. oat meal, - . 008 

12 lbs. candles, .. 060 

I lb. raiiins 008 

Total 8 11 2 

The General Court granted him, 3 19 o 

The principal events of local interest this year, were the attack by 
Indians Mar. 6, on the house of Capt. Fairbanks Moor, situated on 
West river, when the captain and his son were killed, and the son's 
wife and her 4 little children were taken captives ; and the attack on 
No. 4, Aug. 27, when Asahel Stcbbins was killed, his wife with 
Isaac Parker and a garrison soldier taken captive. [See Genealogy.] 

306 History of Nortbfield. 

1759. The taking of Louisburg in July of last year, gave the 
English control of the eastern gate to Canada. The only strongholds 
held by the French outside of iMontreal and Quebec, were Niagara, 
and the two forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point which guarded 
Lake Champlain. Niagara was invested by Gen. Prideaux July 6, 
and was taken on the 24th. Ticonderoga was reached by the di- 
vision under Gen. Amherst July 22, and after a short siege taken ; 
when Crown Point was abandoned by the French, who retired to the 
Isle aux Noix, at the northern extremity of the Lake. 

While these operations were going on, Gen. Wolfe was prosecuting 
a most important enterprise, viz. the reduction of Quebec. This 
brilliant achievement, which resulted in the victory on the heights of 
Abraham Sept. 13, and the immediate surrender of the city of Quebec 
closed a series of victories on the side of the English, which made 
the year 1759 a memorable one in American colonial history. 

The Destruction of St. Francis. — On the same day that 
Wolfe defeated Montcalm on the heights of Abraham, Sept. 13, 
Gen. Amherst issued orders to Maj. Robert Rogers, then at Crown 
Point, to proceed with all despatch to Missisquoy Bay (Gray Lock's 
old site) and thence across the country to the village of St. Francis, 
and destroy the Indian settlement there. Rogers started with 200 
men ; but his force was reduced by various causes to 132 before 
reaching his destination. With this small band, he came to the 
outskirts of the Indian village on the evening of Oct. 4. The 
Indians were engaged in a festive dance, and were wholly unsuspicious 
of danger. Having divided his men into three parties, Rogers 
made his attack just before day-break, when all were in a pro- 
found slumber. Out of 300 Indians, not less than 200 were 
killed. Our men found, as they judged 6 or 700 English scalps 
suspended on poles, the trophies of former barbarities. They re- 
covered five English prisoners, and brought away 200 guineas in 
money, a silver image weighing near 10 pounds, and large quantities 
of wampum and clothing. One officer and 6 privates of Rogers's 
force were wounded, and one, a Stockbridge Indian, was killed. 

Without waiting for rest, and scarcely for refreshment, Rogers 
started on his return, by way of Memphremagog Lake, Coos and No. 
4. He was followed and twice attacked by the infuriated savages, 
and several of his men were killed or taken. Failing to find pro- 
visions at Coos, as he had ordered, and expected, Rogers and his men 
were reduced to the greatest straits. In his journal he writes : 
" Finding a fresh fire burning in his camp [at Coos], I fired guns 

The Last French and Indian War. 307 

to bring him back, which guns he [Lieut. Stephens with the provi- 
sions] heard, but would not return, supposing we were the enemy. 
Our distress upon this occasion was truly inexpressible. Our spirits, 
greatly depressed by the hunger and fatigues we had already suffered, 
now almost entirely sunk within us, seeing no resource left, nor any 
reasonable ground to hope that we should escape a most miserable 
death by famine." Game was scarce ; and they were forced to 
subsist on ground nuts and lily roots. Some perished of fatigue, and 
some of actual starvation. On arriving at Crown Point the first of 
December, Maj. Rogers found that he had lost by exposure and in 
other ways, since leaving the ruins of St. Francis, three lieutenants 
and forty-six sergeants and privates. 

This sad ending of a bold and successful expedition was the result 
of the indifference and cowardice of Lieut. Stephens who was sent to 
Coos with supplies. His orders were " to await the arrival of Maj . 
Rogers and his men ; " but he staid only two days ; and returned to 
No. 4, taking all the provisions with him — and only hurrying his 
pace when he heard the signal guns of the Rangers, six miles in his 

The names of Northfield men, and others more or less directly 
connected with our history, out in the service this year, are as follows : 

In Capt. "John Burk's Company, Col. Timothy Ruggles's regiment, Expedi- 
tion to Ticondtroga and Crown Point, March 31 to Dec. 25 ; 

Lieut. Eben r Bardwell, Hatfield Aaron Petty, Northfield 

Ens. Samuel Taylor, Northfield Reuben Smith " 

Sergt. Sam 1 Merriman " Jofeph Merchant " 

Sergt. John Brown " Samuel Bardwell, Hatfield 

Corp 1 Seth Lyman " Paul Belding " 

John Alexander " Jofeph Sanderfon Jr. " 

Joel Alexander " Silas Smith " 

Jonathan Burr " Eben r Warner " 

Benjamin Burt " John Norton, Northampton 

Joel Holton u Caleb Pomeroy 

Jofeph Dickinfon •' Thomas Starr " 

John Mun Jr. " Afahel Danks 

Thomas Temple, Roadtown. 

In Capt. Salah Barnard's Company. 

Reuben Alexander, Miles Alexander, Mofes Bafcom, Ezekicl Bafcom, Joel 
Baker, Nehemiah How, Benj. Mun, Solomon Sartwell, Job Smith, Amos Tute, 
Eb<-n r Scott of Sunderland, who died on his return at Fort Maflachufetts. 

308 History of Northfield. 

Enlijled men in Col. Is. Williams's regiment. 

Abner How, Amherit Gaius Crafts, Hatfield 

Elifha Wait, Hatfield John MofFatt, Northfield 

Seth Wait 
Seth Murray 
Eben r Belding 
Eben r Belding Jr. 
Joihua Warner 

Jonathan Hunt '* 
Reuben Petty 
Eldad Wright 
Nath 1 Chamberlain " 
Sam 1 Frizzcll 

Seth Field, Montague Aaron Field " . 

Joliah Johnfon, Erving John Severance " 

Abel Dinfmore, Deerfield Elias Bafcom " 

Ifrael Warner Charles Wright, Amherft 

Items. In an account, commissary William Williams charges : 

£. s. i. 
Cafh paid Ifrael Dickinfon for rum and bringing medicines from Dr. 

Samuel Mattoon in Northfield to No. 4, 3 18 10 

Paid burial Expenfes of Elijah Niles of Eafton, Col. Willard's regi- 
ment o 

Paid burial Exp. of — GofF of Capt. Williams's company o 

Paid Ens. Sawyer for bringing medicines from Northfield to No. 4, o 
Paid do. for self and horfe to carry J. How of Col. Willard's reg. 

from No. 4 to Nfd., 1 

Paid Capt. Hunt at Nfd., for billeting J. How 6 days, o 

Credits Dr. Sam Mattoon of Nfd., medicines, 3 

and names the following sick men left at No. 4, Nov. 1759 ; Stephen 
Parker of Shrewsbury, of Capt. Fay's company ; Simon Newton of 
Southboro, Capt. Fay's company; Benj. How of Upton, of Capt. 
Bent's company. 

In October the garrisons stationed in the several towns and block- 
houses on our frontiers, except at Fort Dummer, were dismissed, for 
the reason that the possession of Crown Point and the regular opera- 
tions of the army would effectually cover the settlements. 

1760. The capture of Montreal was all that remained to be done 
to complete the conquest of Canada. Gen. Amherst, having per- 
fected his plans, concentrated the three divisions of the army before 
Montreal, Sept. 6 and 7 ; and on the 8th, the whole Province of 
Canada and its dependencies were surrendered to the British crown. 







The Last French and Indian War. 309 

The Indian depredations ceased, when the French power was broken. 

Capt. Salah Barnard enlisted a large company, which joined Gen. 
Amherst's division, and marched for Montreal. The company was 
mustered Feb. 19 and dismissed Dec. 12. Among the names are : 

Ens. Samuel Taylor, Northfield Thomas Elgar, Northfield 

Sergt. Nehemiah How, Hatfield Benj. Gardner " 

Sergt. Eben r Stoddard, So. Hadley Eben r Holcon " 

Corp. John Petty, Northfield Uriah Morfe " 

" Solo. Sartwell, Amherft Simeon Olmiled " 

" Perez Bardwell, Hatfield Abner Wright 

Elias Alexander, Northfield Daniel Wright " 

Miles Alexander, '* Richard Wilds, Roadtown 

Afa AJexander " James Wilds *' 

Reuben Alexander " Reuben Webb, Springfield 

Benjamin Burt " John Conkey, Pelham 

Ens. Samuel Merriman was out in one of the Hampshire regiments, 
in this campaign. In his diary he writes : " Aug. 25, at Isle aux 
Noix ; Sept. 1, at St. John's; Sept. 5, at camp Shamblee ; Sept. 8, 
we came to Montreal." 

The small pox broke out in the French army in Canada in the year 
1756, and spread among some of the Indian villages. During 
the campaign of the present year many of the English soldiers took 
the disease, and were brought home sick or infected. Some of our 
men brought the infection to Northfield ; and Ens. Samuel Merriman's 
house on Beers's hill (which he had built in '51 or '52) was taken by 
the town for a hospital. It was used through the winter and spring ; 
and the town at a meeting in August, 1761, voted "To pay Ens. 
Merriman the sum of £ 1 1 2 o for the use of his house and other 
damages sustained thereby." 

In the fall of '59 Lt. Col. Hawks cut a road through the forest 
from Crown Point towards No. 4 ; and in the early summer of '60 
Col. John Goffof New Hampshire, with his regiment, opened the 
eastern end of this new path, beginning at Wentworth's ferry, two 
miles above the fort at No. 4, and running 26 miles, when he struck 
Col. Hawks's work. 

Massachusetts levied 3000 men for the army in '6i ; and about 
the same number in '62 ; but the war was substantially closed. A 
treaty of peace was signed at Paris Feb. 10, 1763. 

3 1 o History of Northfield. 

Cost of the War. — From May 1755 to May 1763, Massachusetts 
raised and expended $4,217,000, of which sum four millions were 
proper war charges. Great Britain refunded to us one and a half 
millions ; and the balance was borne by the Province, and was a 
grievous burden. 

From the opening of the war to and including the year 1760, the 
seasons proved remarkably fruitful in New England. The colonies 
were able to supply the wants of the army from their own resources. 
But a drought set in in the spring of '61 and continued through '62, 
which cut short the crops, and made it necessary to send abroad for 
provisions to supply the ordinary wants of the people. 

1 76 1. Seth Field taught school during the fall and winter of this 
year, and was paid by the town 10 shillings per week. 

1762. In June Uriah Morse (b. in Holliston) and Hannah his wife, 
who had been in Northfield during the war, removed to the town of 
Haverhill N. H., and were the first family upon the ground. 

Miscellany. — During the disturbance of the late wars, and the 
absence of Indian hunting parties, and the service in the army of the 
settlers who were expert with a gun, wild animals increased in the 
forest with great rapidity, and became troublesome to the farmers. 
In 1 754, as appears from the town files, Northfield paid a bounty on 
7 wolves, tf old bears, 8 bears' cubs, and 2 wild-cats, killed within 
the town limits. 

The first notice of a wheeled vehicle for pleasure travelling in 
Northfield, is in 1763, whenLt. Jonathan Belding owned a "chair." 
He once let it to Eleazar Pomeroy for a journey to Northampton. 

Tavern. — Capt. Samuel Hunt kept a tavern during the period 
covered by this chapter. His slave boy Mitbap was a noted character 
among the frequenters of the house. His charges were : for meals, 
$d. ; lodging, id. ; horse keeping per night, Sd. ; £ a pint of rum, $d. 

Physician. — Dr. Samuel Mattoon was in practice here at this date, 
and continued the leading physician for many years. 

Shoemaker. — Alexander Norton commenced business in town as 
early as 1 751, and carried on tanning and shoe-making till his old age. 

Carpenter. — Ebenezer Harvey was exercising his trade here as 
early as 1759. 

i7 6 3" l 773- 

A New Meeting-house — New School-house — Church formed at Hins- 
dale — Logs in the River — Singing — Hunt's Saw-mill — Potash 
House — List of Polls and Estates i 77 i — Warning People out of 
Town — Annexation of Pembroke Grant and Hack's Grant — Bounty 
on Crows — Industries. 

|NE of the first matters to enlist the interest of the North- 
field people, when it became certain that the French power 
was effectually broken, and peace with the Indians was 
established, was the erection of a new house of worship in 
place of the one built in 1718. 

A town meeting was called the first week in August, 1761, to con- 
sider the question, and decide whether they would build, and if so, 
where the house should be placed. After consideration, it was found 
that there was substantial unanimity in favor of a new house ; but 
there were conflicting sentiments about the proper site for it. And 
it was voted to leave the selection of a site to a disinterested com- 
mittee, consisting of Capt. Orlando Bridgman of Hinsdale, Dea. 
Enos Nash of Hadley and Joseph Barnard of Sunderland. Ens. 
Phinehas Wright, Ens. Thomas Alexander, Sergt. Ebenezer Stratton, 
Sergt. Moses Field, Aaron Burt, Seth Field Esq. and Philip Mattoon 
were appointed a committee " to build a meeting house on the place 
the committee shall determine upon." 

The committee on location decided that the best place for the new 
house was in the middle of the street, just north of the old one. At 
a meeting of the town in November, 1762, it was voted to build the 
meeting-house on the spot staked out by the committee ; to raise the 
sum of =£20 by taxation ; and to sell the town land in the Great 
meadow and a part of the sequestered lands, to pay for the same. 
The timber was got out in the course of the winter and brought upon 
the ground and partly framed. But some of the inhabitants became 
dissatisfied with the location ; and a town meeting was called May 
9> '°3> " To determine whether the meeting-house shall be raised on 
the spot where the committee set the stake, or carried back to the 
west side of the street, or into the front of Mr. Pomeroy'sand widow 

3 I 2 History of Nortbfield. 

Field's home-lots, if they permit it." A large majority voted to carry 
the house to the west side of the street. The town then proceeded 
to sell the Great meadow lots, and the sequestered lands lying south of 
the village. One mug of flip and two gallons of rum were consumed 
at the vendue, at the expense of the town. 

The stone for the foundations of the new house were drawn and 
laid, and the frame raised in the early part of summer. To supply 
the requirements of the " raising," the committee purchased 2 barrels 
of New England rum, which cost £924, and 4 gallons of West 
India rum at 8 shillings per gallon. 

At the meeting May 9, the town voted to build a steeple to the 
meeting-house ; and at a meeting Dec. 12, it was voted to procure a 
bell. Seth Field Esq. was appointed a committee to make the pur- 
chase. Hophni King was probably the master carpenter on the meeting- 
house and set out the frame by the square rule. Tradition says that 
this was the first building in North^eld so laid out. 

From various bills on file, it appears that the house was not fully 
boarded in the first season ; and in the spring of '64 JJ50 additional 
was raised towards finishing the meeting-house. Aaron Burt sold 
the committee a lock for the meeting-house door, on the last of May 
this year, which would indicate that it was substantially enclosed. 
But the house was not finished for three years. 

May 14, 1765, the town chose Capt. Samuel Hunt and Seth Field 
Esq. a committee u to make sale of the. 50 acres of sequestered land 
lying in Winchester, the proceeds to be applied in payment for still 
further finishing the meeting-house." Dec. 29, '66, the town voted 
to raise the sum of «£6o in order to finish the meeting-house. 

August 6, 1767, Ebenezer Walbridge gives the town a receipt for 
£148 " in full for work done at the meeting-house." He seems to 
have been employed in putting in the pulpit and pews ; and this was 
the date when the house was considered as completed — though the 
bell was not put in place till the next year. 

Sept. 8, 1767. At a town meeting this date, it was voted " To seat 
the meeting-house." The following committee was appointed : 
Capt. Samuel Hunt, Lt. Joshua Lyman, Ens. Phinehas Wright, 
Seth Field Esq., Sergt. Simeon Alexander, Sergt. Ebenezer Stratton, 
Samuel Root, Stephen Belding and Zebediah Stebbins. Voted, that 
Mr. Hubbard have the choice of the pews for his family. 

The house then built was 55 by 44 feet, with a steeple at the north 
end. It stood near the west line of the street, just against the dividing 
line between the Parson Duolittle and the Joseph Parsons home- 
lots, fronting to the east. The inside was finished with ground floor, 

Matters of Interest. 

3 T 3 

and galleries on three sides — the pulpit standing on the west side, 
with a sounding board suspended above. The pews were enclosed in 
panel work, according to the fashion of the time. The plan on the next 
page, reduced from one drawn by Seth Field Esq. will give an 

Thi Old MirriNG Housi. 

idea of the lower floor ; and the peculiar numbering of the pews will 
indicate the " dignity " of each seat as estimated by the first com- 
mittee on seating the house. [This num bering was afterwards changed — 
sometimes to suit the views of each new committee.] By common 
usage, the two pews directly in front of the pulpit ranked the highest ; 
but the choice of a side pew (No. I, on the plan), by Mr. Hubbard, 
made it proper to designate that as the highest in dignity ; and the 
rest were numbered to correspond. 

The seating of 1780. No. I, Mr. Hubbard's family. No. 2, Esq. 
Field, Col. Wright, Mrs. H. Mattoon. No. 3, Eleazar Stratton, 
Capt. Stratton, widow Stratton, widow Mattoon. No. 4, Mr. 
Stebbins, Dea. Smith, Mr. Todd. No. 5, Hezekiah Stratton, Lucius 
Doolittle, widow Christian Field. No. 6, Capt. Hunt and family. 
No. 7, Ebenezer Field, Samuel Field. No. 8, Philip Mattoon, Jona. 
Belding No. 9, Mr. Norton, Lieut. Janes, Samuel Mattoon. No. 
10, Simeon Lyman, Lieut. Wright, Seth Lyman. No. 11, Shammah 









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Matters of Interest, 3 1 5 

Pomeroy, Elijah Mattoon. No. 12, Mr. Whitney and family. No. 
13, Sergt. Holton, Lieut. Alexander, Capt. Alexander. No. 14, 
Ens. Field, Capt. Merriman, Theophilus Merriman, Mrs. Joanna 
Lyman. No. 15, Ebenezer Field Jr., James Lyman. No. 16, 
Reuben Smith, Tabitha Wright, Capt. Smith. No. 17, Zebediah 
Stebbins, Reuben Wright, Reuben Morgan, Noah Morgan. No. 18, 
William Field, Lemuel Holton, Samuel Holton. No. 19, Pedajah 
Field, Benjamin Brooks, John Moffatt, widow Reuben Petty, Benjamin 
Miller. No. 20, William Holton, Ebenezer Severance, John Mun. 
No. 21, George Field, Capt. H. King, widow Robbins. No. 22, Oliver 
Wright, Elisha Stebbins, Abner Wright. No. 23, Moses Dickinson, 
Titus Dickinson, Benoni Dickinson, Mary Dickinson. No. 24, 
Joseph Cook, David Wright, Josiah Parmenter, widow Stebbins. 
No. 25, Elijah Stratton, Lieut. Lyman, Dr. Marcus Marble. No. 
26, Ebenezer Severance, Oliver Smith. No. 27, Elijah Holton, 
Elisha Alexander, John Holton. No. 28, Capt. Doolittle, Asahel 
Stebbins, Rufus Field. No. 29, Oliver Watriss, Eliphaz Wright. 
No. 30, Rufus Stratton, Samuel Field Jr. No. 31, Simeon Alexander,* 
Medad Alexander. No. 32, A. Field, Jonathan Janes. No. 33, 
Nathan Flint, Nathan Prindle, John Field, Eunice Field. No. 34, 
Elisha Smith, Caleb Morgan, Consider Cushman, Amaziah Roberts. 
No. 35, H. Gaylord, Gad Corse. No. 36, Caleb Lyman, William 
Belcher. No. 37, Barzillai Wood, Nathaniel Sanger, E. L. Tiffany, 
William Askey, Peggy Petty, Ruth Miller. Old ladies pew, Mrs. 
Lyman, widow Dickinson, widow Wright, Mrs. Root, Mrs. Janes. 
There were also twenty-five singers seated in the orchestra, and 
about a hundred young people in the galleries, each of whom had a 
special seat assigned him or her. 

The widow Wright swept the meeting-house, the first year after 
it was opened, and received therefor £ 1 bs. Sd. : Billy Field was em- 
ployed that year, to ring the bell, and was paid £ 1 4/. od. 

Sept. 22, 1768, the town voted to let out pews in the meeting- 
house to people living in the neighboring towns. In '69, a committee 
was chosen to procure stone steps and horse-blocks for the meeting- 

1783. The town voted, that William Field be directed to ring the 
bell in future on the Lord's day precisely at 9 o'clock in the fore- 
noon. Voted, that the intermissions between the public worship 
on the Lord's day shall be one hour from Oct. 1, to April 1 ; and for 
the months of April, May and September, the intermission shall be 
one and a half hours ; and for June, July and August, two hours. 
Chose Seth Field Esq., Capt. Ebenezer Stratton and Mr. Aarop 

3 1 6 History of Northfield. 

Whitney a committee tc wait on Mr. Hubbard and acquaint him of 
the foregoing votes of the town. 

Aug. 14, 1786. The town voted, that those persons seated in the 
northwest corner pew in the body of the meeting house, and those in 
the southwest corner have liberty to make a window to each of said 
pews, on condition that they make them at their own cost and expense. 

The meeting house was seated anew, in '72, '80, '86, and so once 
in 5 to 8 years, till 1830. The number of heads of families and old 
people, who were assigned seats below, in 1780, was 103 ; in '86, 
133 ; in 1818, 268. 

1787. The house remained unpainted till 1789. At the annual 
town meeting in '87, it was voted to raise the sum of <£i2, " to re- 
pair and colour the meeting-house." But this improvement was a 
matter of time. In '88, many of the farmers took extra pains with 
their flax fields j and in the winter the town bought of them their 
surplus seed, amounting to 42^ bushels, at 3*. 6d. per bushel. The 
flax-seed was sent to Boston by teams, where it was exchanged for 
paints and oil ; and the house was colored in the summer of '89. 

This house stood till 1833. 

New School House. — When it was determined to build a new 
meeting house in 1762, it was also voted to remove the old school 
house (which stood just where it was first decided to set the meeting 
house) into the lane by Capt. Hunt's. The matter was delayed, and 
in '64 the town voted to build a new school house, 21 X 20 feet 
and 7 feet stud, with a chimney at the north end. This was set in 
the lane aforesaid, and stood till 1797 or 98, when the present house 
was built on the same spot. 

The town had but one school district proper, and one school house, 
till 1 78 1. Seth Field kept school for about 20 weeks in most of the 
years between 1736 and 1775, at iox. per week ; and for many years 
Phinehas Wright was paid by the town for teaching a longer or 
shorter time. In '65 he kept a school 6£ months ; in '69, 24 weeks ; 
in '72, 25 weeks, at 5*. per week. In '73 Lydia Warner kept school 
18 weeks at $s. per week. In '79 the town voted to pay Mr. Daniel 
Babbitt 100 dollars continental currency per month and his board, 
for keeping the town school so long as he shall keep said school. 
In '85, Mr. Abishai Colton of Longmeadow was employed as school 
master. To account for two school masters and but one school 
house, it is to be considered that Esq. Field kept what was called the 
winter school, and Ens. Wright the summer school. It is also known 
that Mr. Wright kept a school in his dwelling house as did also 

Matters of Interest. 3 1 7 

his wife ; and it is not unlikely that two schools were going on at 
the same time. And as early as 1765, and thenceforth, the town 
made appropriations for a school among the farmers in the south 
part of the territory. This latter appropriation varied from .£3 to 
<£i2. In December 1768, the town voted to raise £6 for the sup- 
port of a school at the Farms ; and that their proportion of the winter 
school rate shall be improved for a school amongst themselves, and 
be under the direction of the selectmen as well with regard to the 
master as to the time and place of keeping the school. The select- 
men acted as school committee till '83, when the several districts were 
allowed to manage their several schools in their own way. After this 
date however, the selectmen were empowered to take charge of the 
schools till 1800, when a school committee was chosen by the town. 

No mention is made of a school on the west side of the river till 
1775, when 20 shillings was appropriated for a school at the south 
farms on that side ; and in 1780 Moses Dickinson, Titus Dickinson 
and Nathan Prindle were allowed to have their proportion of the 
school money for a school among themselves. 

From 1780 to 1792, 60 pounds was usually raised for schools ; in 
the latter year it was increased to 80 pounds. 

In some years the town voted " to hire a master to instruct in 
reading, writing and singing, for one month in addition to the usual 
winter school. 

J new Church in Hinsdale. August 14, 1763, Capt. Orlando Bridg- 
man, Peter Evens and wife, Thomas Taylor and wife were dismissed 
from the church in Northfield " to lie in the foundation of the church 
in Hinsdale." 

Logs for Ship Timber. — The Indians had not burnt over the 
country above West river ; and the meadows in Putney and vicinity 
were covered with a magnificent growth of yellow pines. As early 
as 1732 parties were sent hither by New London merchants to cut 
mast timber. Enough to load a vessel was floated down in the 
spring of '33 ; and at one time that season there were 70 men in the 
woods at Great Meadow cutting and preparing another ship load. 
After the new Province line was run, the New Hampshire authorities 
claimed all this timber as within their jurisdiction. In 1763, im- 
mense numbers of logs broke away in the spring freshet, and lodged 
on the meadows in the different towns on the river. The inhabit- 
ants and the town authorities took possession of these logs, and re- 
sisted the agents of Gov. Wentworth, who were sent to reclaim 
them. In April of this year, 266 logs were seized by the selectmen 

3 1 8 History of Northfield. 

of Northfield within the town limits. There was a fierce conten- 
tion ; and it is not known which party kept possession. 

Singing. — This part of religious worship had an important place 
in the Sabbath services, in our fathers' time. And as few, except 
the pastor and deacons had books, it was customary to M deacon " or 
" line " the psalm ; i. e. after the minister had read the psalm or 
hymn, the senior deacon would rise, face the congregation, and read 
off" the first line, which would then be sung; then the second line, 
which would be sung ; and so on to the end of the psalm. As most 
of the psalms had six or eight stanzas, the time occupied was consi- 
derable — or would be thought so, now. 

The practice of " lining the psalm," which was one of the che- 
rished prerogatives of the deacon's office, was abolished in this town 
at a comparatively early date, as the following vote will show : 

Jan ii, 1770, The town voted, "That hereafter the singers shall 
sing altogether without the deacon's reading the psalm line by line, 
except at the Lord's table, when the deacon is to read, and at no 
other time ; this to begin the first Sabbath in March next." 

At the same meeting it was voted to choose a committee to make 
the hind seats in the front gallery into four pews for the convenient 
seating of the singers. And in November, Mr. Seth Hastings was 
hired one month, to teach the youth of Northfield the art of singing. 

Saw-mill. In 1763 or '64 Capt. Samuel Hunt built a saw-mill on 
the first Salmon brook (now in Vernon Vt.). 

Potash House. — At a meeting in 1765, the town voted to allow 
Seth FielJ and others to put up a potash house in the south lane, by 
Nehemiali Wright's home-lot. This house was set on what was 
afterwards known as the second 6x12 lot. The ashes were bought 
of the villagers and farmers, at Sd. per bushel ; and the great con- 
sumption of wood in the open fire-places of those days, yielded a large 
amount of ashes, which thus became a source of considerable income. 
The company commenced boiling in October, and continued through 
the cold season, or as long as the stock lasted. The potash was in 
part consumed in the town and vicinity ; and the balance was sent 
to Boston. In '67, the potash sent to Boston brought ^£34 i8j. gd ; 
cost of freight £6 6s. \d. In '68 the net loss of the works to the 
partners was £1 3*. od. if. each. In '69 the net profit to each partner 
was £0 6s. id. if. The business was carried on for many years ; and 
with varying results. 

1 77 1. The town was fined for neglecting to send a representative 
to the General Court. 

Matters of Interest. 

3 ! 9 

Polls and Estates, North field 177 1. 

Jonathan Belding, 
Jonathan Belding Jr., 
Ebenezer Field Jr., 
Martha Dickinson, 
Nathan Fisk, 
Oliver Taylor, 
Benoni Dickinson, 
Alexander Norton, 
Elihu Lyman, 
Aaron Burt, 
Simeon Lyman, 
Elisha Smith, 
John Holton, 
John Larrabee, 
Titus Dickinson, 
Moses Dickinson, 
Eldad Wright, 
Lucius Doolittle, 
Samuel Root, 
Simeon Alexander, 
Seth Lyman, 
Abner Wright, 
Stephen Belding, 
Ebenezer Harvey, 
Thomas Alexander, 
Eleazar Pomeroy, 
Oliver Wright, 
Abraham Parkhurst, 
Samuel Warner, 
Elisha Hunt, 
Oliver Watriss, 

Reuben Wright, 
David Wright, 
Zebediah Stebbins, 
Benjamin Wright, 
Joseph Stebbins, 
William Field, 
Mary Wright, 
Elisha Stebbins, 
Shammah Pomeroy, 
Eleazar Stratton, 
Philip Mattuon, 
Samuel smith, 
Oliver Smith, 
Samuel Field, 
Paul Field, 
Joshua Lyman, 
James Lyman, 
Ebenezer Field, 
Moses Field, 
Phinehas Wright, 
Eliphas Wright, 
Joanna Holton, 
Samuel Holton, 
Elijah Holton, 
Elijah Mattoon, 
Ebenezer Janes, 
Noah Munn, 
William Holton, 
Benjamin Brooks, 
Lemuel Holton, 
Samuel Merrriman, 

Elias Bascom, 
Medad Pomeroy, 
George Field, 
Rufus Field, 
Seth Field, 
Eleazar Scratton, 
Hezekiah Stratton, 
Ebenezer Severance, 
Ebenezer Severance Jr., 
Reuben Petty, 
Reuben Smith, 
Pedajah Field, 
Hophni King, 
Benjamin Miller, 
Samuel Mattoon, 
Aaron Whitney, 
John Brown, 
Moses Stockwell, 
John MorFatt, 
Bradford Newcomb, 
John Farrar, 
William Askey, 
Gad Corse, 

Samuel Merriman Jr., 
John Allen, 
Asahel Stebbins, 
Cyrus Stebbins, 
Israel Warner, 
George Robbins, 
Eleazar Holton, 

Number of" rateable polls, 106 ; not rateable, 10. Number of 
dwelling houses, 65. Alexander Norton had a tan house ; Simeon 
Alexander a blacksmith's shop ; Elias Bascom a clothier's shop and 
saw-mill ; Aaron Whitney a store j Stephen Belding and Ebenezer 
Janes grist mills, and Jona. Belding a saw-mill. Paul Field was 
taxed for one slave. The number of horses 3 years old and over was 
107; oxen 4 years old 131 ; cows 3 years old 220 ; sheep 1 year 
old 437 ; barrels of cider made 168 ; acres of tillage land 1268 ; 
bushels of corn grown 7701 ; acres of English mowing 251 ; tons 
of English hay 354. 

Warning persons out of town. The custom prevailed at this date 
throughout the province, of u warning out of town " all transient per- 
sons, and all who did not purchase real estate, and all strangers not 
vouched for by some inhabitant. When a stranger moved into town 

320 History of Northfield. 

to reside, the person into whose family or tenement he came, was 
required to give notice to the selectmen, of the name of such stranger 
or strangers, the place whence he came, his pecuniary circumstances 
and the date of his coming to town. The selectmen would then, at 
their discretion, allow him to remain, or order him to be " warned 
and cautioned as the law directs." A person so warned was pre- 
vented from gaining a settlement, and the town escaped liability for 
his support. The process implied nothing against the character of 
the individual or family ; and it often happened that such warned per- 
sons eventually became honored and wealthy citizens. The following 
warrant, which was served upon the parties named, will show the 
intent and manner of the warning : 

" Hampfhire ss : 

To Reuben Wright conftable of the town of Northfield in f d county of 
Hampfhire, Greeting : Whereas sundry persons herein mentioned, lately came 
into and do now refide in the town of Northfield (where they are not inhabit- 
ants freeholders or proprietors) to the hurt and damage of f d town, viz : Abraham 
Parker of Richmond in New Hampfhire, and Hannah his wife, and Abraham 
Jun., Hannah Jun., John, Solomon, David, Ruth and Betty Parker, minors, all 
fons and daughters of the above named Abraham and Hannah Parker; and 
Edward Lyman Tiffany of Lebanon in Connecticut, Thomas Richardfon of 
Chefhire in New Hampfhire, and William Afkey fuppofed to be a deferter 
from the regular Troops : And whereas the town of Northfield may be obliged 
to be at charge for the relief and fupport of the above named perfons, by their 
refiding in f" d town until they become proper inhabitants of the fame, in cafe 
they or either of them fhall (land in need ; 

Now to prevent the fame 
You are hereby required in his Majefty's name forthwith to notify and warn 
the above named perfons, to depart and leave thef 1 town of Northfield, within 
the fpace of fourteen days from the day of f d warning, if they would avoid being 
conveyed away by warrants from the proper authorities, to their refpeclive 
towns or regiment; and that they nor either of them return back again or 
obtrude themfelves upon the town of Northfield by refiding within the fame, 
left they be proceeded againft as vagabonds. Hereof fail not, and make due 
return of this warrant and your doings thereon into the next Court of Quarter 
Dated at Northfield, Jan. 22, 1771. Phinehas Wricht) Selectmen 

Simeon Lyman >- of 

Ebenezer Janes ) Northfield. 

In the year 1790, 25 families were thus warned, many of whom 
purchased real estate, and became citizens, and their descendants are 
now among our best people. In '92, 6 families ; and in '93, 16 
families or individuals received warning. 

Matters of Interest. 3 2 1 

The Pembroke Farm and Hack's Grant. — Dec. 16, 1772, 
the town chose Seth Field Esq. an agent, to present a petition to the 
General Court, that the fine for not sending a representative be re- 
mitted : Also for a grant of the 250 acres of country land within the 
town limits : Also that 500 acres of land granted to the town of Pem- 
broke and laid out adjoining to the town of Northfield, and 150 acres 
granted to William Hack, be annexed to Northfield. 

June 23, 1773, an act was passed for annexing the two tracts 
above named to Northfield ; but no action of the legislature in regard 
to the country land can be found. 

Noxious Animals. — The town offered a bounty of 6 pence for 
every old crow, and 3 pence for every young crow that should be 
killed within the town limits. In 1772, bounties were paid as fol- 
lows: Moses Field, 4 crows; Oliver Wright, 10 ; Abraham Ro- 
berts, 1 ; Cyrus Stebbins, 2 ; Abner Field, 6 ; Oliver Watriss, 2 ; 
Hezekiah Stratton, 2 ; Ebenezer Janes, 5 ; Samuel Holton, 1 young 
and Dea. Field 4 young and 1 old crow. 

A bounty of 10 pounds was offered to any inhabitant of North- 
field, who should kill a grown wolf any where between Miller's river 
and the Ashuelot, and the east and west bounds of the. town ; and 
bounties varying from 6 shillings to 4 dollars were offered for wild 
cats killed within the above named limits. 

Industries. — Elias Bascom set up a clothier's shop, and a saw- 
mill as early as 1770. Hophni King the carpenter was in town in 
'63 ; Ebenezer Walbridge in '66 ; and David Barrett carpenter and 
wheelwright in '65. Ebenezer Field opened a house of entertain- 
ment in '71 or '72 ; and Hezekiah Stratton had a tavern at the farms 
somewhat earlier, perhaps in '63. Aaron Whitney commenced business 
as a trader here in '70. Eleazar and Josiah Pomeroy had a store 
some years earlier. Dr. Medad Pomeroy was in practice as a physi- 
cian in Northfield in 08 and 9, and in the latter year removed to 
Warwick. Dr. Isaac Hurlburt came in town just before the opening 
of the Revolutionary war. 


War of the Revolution. 

ORTHFIELD as a border town had been so thoroughly 
schooled in the realities of war, that our people were pre- 
pared to estimate truly the duties and dangers of the im- 
pending struggle with the mother country. Hence there 
was less of violence and turbulence in words and acts when the con- 
test came, and more tolerance of sentiment between conservatives 
and patriots, than in the commercial centres and. in some of the 
interior and the more recently settled towns. There was no hesitancy 
in discussing grievances, and no backwardness in protesting against 
the arbitrary measures of the British government ; and when the 
time came, the sword was cheerfully and promptly taken. 

The part borne by Northfield in the war which resulted in the in- 
dependence of the American colonies, is best exhibited in the action 
of the town and the men sent into the service of the country. 

When the Revenue Act was passed, laying a duty on several arti- 
cles of luxury and necessity, most of the families in this town, quietly 
but with singular unanimity, resolved to forego entirely the use of 
tea, and of foreign calicoes and woolen dress goods, and return to 
sage and red-root, and the flaxen and woolen homespun stuffs of 
earlier days. A fair sample of the change in public sentiment and 
practice is seen in the fact, that in 1771 the number of sheep owned 
in Northfield was 437 ; and in 1777 the number had increased to 
21 16. Probably the acreage of flax grown had increased in the same 
ratio. The spinning wheels were restored to their place in the 
kitchen ; the looms were repaired ; and the younger girls became 
ambitious to learn all the mysteries of making and dyeing cloths and 

1774. Sept. 1, Gov. Gage issued his proclamation convening the 
General Court at Salem Oct. 5. In response, Northfield elected Ens. 
Phinehas Wright as representative. And notwithstanding the governor 
revoked his proclamation, Ens. Wright with 90 others met at Salem, 
organized themselves into a Provincial Congress, and then adjourned 
to meet at Concord Oct. II. After a session of three days, they 
adjourned to Cambridge, and continued their sittings from Oct. 1710 

War of the Revolution. 323 

Dec. 10. Mr. Wright was paid by the town £9 12s. 6d. lawful 
money, for his expenses and time. 

At a meeting held in December, the town instructed the assessors 
not to levy a Province tax, and agreed to indemnify them for any 
trouble or cost which might ensue from such neglect. 

1775. At a town meeting Jan. 13, Mr. Ebenezer Janes was 
chosen a delegate to the Provincial Congress to be held at Cambridge 
February first next. 

At the same meeting, Dea. Samuel Smith, Ens. Phinehas Wright, 
Dea. Samuel Root, Ens. Thomas Alexander and Seth Field Esq. 
were appointed a committee of inspection. And Lieut. Ebenezer 
Janes and Mr. Aaron Whitney were chosen a committee to receive 
the donation for the poor at Boston, and transmit the same to the 
committee at Boston. 

It was also voted, " that the selectmen give orders that such of the 
Minute Men belonging to this town, that are not able to supply them- 
selves with ammunition for any expedition that they may be called to, 
be supplied out of the town's stock whenever they shall be called forth." 

A company of Minute Men, consisting of 26 belonging to North- 
field and 25 belonging to Warwick, was organized the preceding au- 
tumn, and had been in training under Joseph Allen and Gad Corse. 

April 3. The town voted to pay 24 shillings to Joseph Allen, and 
7 shillings to Gad Corse, for instructing the Minute Men in the mili- 
tary exercise. 

Extract from records of second Provincial Congress : April 5, Voted, 
That as the present delegate from Northfield, Mr. Ebenezer Janes 
being sick, and unable to attend, the inhabitants be. desired to add 
another man to him, in order to a full expression of opinion. 

The Lexington Alarm. — The battle at Lexington was fought 
April 19 •, and the alarm reached Northfield about noon on the 20th. 
The long roll was beaten bv Elihu Lyman ; and before night Capt. 
Wright and his Minute Men were on the way to Warwick and 

Mujler-Roll of Capt. Eldad Wright's Co. of Minute Men that marched 
from Northfield and Warwick to Cambridge April y* 20th, 1775, in 
Col. Samuel Williams's regiment. 

Northfield men. IVarwick men. 

Capt. Eldad Wright, Lieut. Thomas Rich, 

Serg 1 . E'iphaz Wright, Serg 1 . Jofeph Mayo, 
11 Hoplini King, " Abraham Barns, 

3 2 4 

History of Northfield. 

Corp. John Holron, 
" Oliver Smith, 
Fifcr, Cotton Dickinfon, 
Drummer, Elihu Lyman, 
Eldad Alexander, 
Cyrus Stebbins, 
Moles Root, 
Jofeph Allen, 
Auguilus Bclding, 
Ebenezer Petty, 
Rufus Carver, 
Elifha Alexander, 
Luther Fairbanks, 
Thomas Stebbins, 
George Robbins, 
Jofeph Fuller, 
Barzillai Wood, 
Elilha Stebbins, 
Benjamin Miller, 
Elijah Rifley, 
Nathan Fifk, 
William Clcmmens, 
David Goodcnough, 

Corp. Seth Peck, 

" Henry Burnet, 
Daniel Whitney, 
John Whiting, 
Samuel Denny, 
William Pitcher, 
Jotham Merriam, 
Ifaac Burnet, 
William Burnet, 
Afahel Newton, 
Simeon Stearns, 
Francis Leonard, . 
Wilder Stevens, 
Jonathan Gale, 
Caleb Rich, 
Stephen Gould, 
Peter Ripley, 
Gove Stephens, 
John Mayo, 
Jedediah Gould, 
Samuel Griffiths, 
William Bradley. 

Rations allowed ; from Northfield, 16 shillings 8 pence per man ; 
and from Warwick, 15 shillings 6 pence lawful money, to and from 
the camp. Capt Wright and about half his men were in service 4 
weeks and 2 days ; others were out 23 days ; and some returned in 
a less time. 

The townspeople that gathered on the alarm, organized a meeting 
and chose a committee of correspondence, viz. : Dea. Samuel Smith, 
Ens. Phinehas Wright, Dea. Samuel Root, Ens. Thomas Alexander 
and Seth Field Esq. 

The following despatch received on the day of its issue will indi- 
cate the vigilance of the people : 

"Montague April 30, 1775. 

By this you are informed that there is a Poll fent out from New York to 
General Gage, with a packet. You are dcfired to intercept him, or follow 
him, if any intelligence can be had of him on either fide of the River. His 
name is Oliver Dclarsee ; he is a bluff fat young man, 22 years of age, born in 
New York, and rides a Dutch trotting horfe. His packet is fupp jfed to be 
configned [for deception] to Mr. Hancock or Adams, or fome other popular 
gentleman. Plcafe to infped thofe that may take his packet, and carry it down 
to Bolton. Infpetft taverns, ferries, and all fuspectcd perfons. 

Moses Gun, 

To Com. of Corr. Northfield. Chair 11 Com. of Corr. 

War of the 'Revolution. 

3 2 5 

May 22. Ensign Phinehas Wright was chosen a delegate " to re- 
present the town at the Provincial Congress to be holden at Water- 
town on the 31st day of May instant, and to be continued by 
adjournment as they shall see cause until the expiration of six months 
and no longer." 

July 14. The town chose Ens. Phinehas Wright representative to 
serve at the General Court to be held at Watertown on the 19th of 
July instant. 

1776. At the annual meeting, March 4, the town chose Col. 
Phinehas Wright, Dea. Samuel Smith, Seth Field Esq., Dea. Samuel 
Root, Lieut. Simeon Alexander, committee of correspondence, in- 
spection and safety. Voted, that said committee keep a fair record of 
all their proceedings. Voted, that the selectmen be impowered to pro- 
cure spades, pickaxes, etc. according to an act of the General Court, 
and to draw money out of the town treasury to pay for the same. 

In the February preceding a company had been recruited at North- 
field and vicinity, and had made choice of Thomas Alexander as 
captain. The first of March this company was ordered to join the ex- 
pedition against Canada. 

MuJler-R.oll of Capt. Thomas Alexander' 's Company. 

Capt. Thos. Alexander, 
Ll. Peter Bilhop, 
" Noadiah Warner, 
" Jacob Pool, 
Ens. Abner Nims, 
Scrg 1 John Hendrick, 

" Mofes Wackins, 

" Arad Sheldon, 

" John Ball, 
Corp. Barth. Bartlctt, 

" Jacob Town, 
Drummer, Jas. Warren, 
John Beaman, 
Joab Belding, 
George Wilfon, 
George Robbins, 
Jofcph Allen, 
Cephas Sheldon, 
Samuel Marfh, 
Jofiah Gaylord, 
Eben r Manendale, 

Samuel Dean, 
Reuben Sheldon, 
Richard Lucas, 
Charles Carter, 
Uriah Weeks, 
Hazel Ranfom, 
Philip Maxwell, 
William Clark, 
Jonathan Robbins, 
Ephraim Potter, 
Moles Cook, 
Charles Hucfon, 
Edw. Skinner, 
Jonathan Gleafon, 
Ephraim Town, 
Ebcnczer Scott, 
Lemuel Roberts, 
Elijah Town, 
Simon Leonard, 
Hophni Rider, 
Elias Parmcncer, 

John Dewey, 
James Whalen, 
Charles Campbell, 
Malachi Wilfon, 
Obadiah Wells, 
Ezckiel Folter, 
Ezra Folter, 
Nath 1 Brown Dodge, 
Levi Prutt, 
Ouartus Alexander, 
Timothy Force, 
Jcduthan Morfe, 
Afa Barton, 
Silas Town, 
Ebcnezcr Petty, 
Samuel Goodale, 
Elnathan Prirchard, 
John Ranfom, 
Stephen Ralph or Rolph, 
Lemuel Martendale, 
Francis Mun. 

326 History of Nortbfield. 

Capt. Alexander kept a Diary for a part of the time he was out. 
This and his petition to the General Court, furnish important mate- 
rials for a history of this unfortunate expedition. 

"March v fc 6th, 1776. Then I marched from Northfield with a number of 
men to Hadley 26 miles, for the expedition to Canada, and tarried there till 
the 1 2th, and then marched to Williamfburg, and put up at Fairfield's. 13th, 
marched to Worthington and lay at Miller's one day. 1 5th, we marched to Eaft 
Hoofuck co Mr. Wright's. 1 6th, marched 6 miles to Mr. Jones's. 17th, marched 
to Bennington, 15 miles and lay there one day. 19th, marched to Shafts- 
bury to Mr. Galuiha's ; from thence to Arlington to Mr. Halley's. 20th, marched 
thro' a corner of Sunderland and then into Manchefter to Mr. French's ; from 
thence to Mr. Kent's at Dorfet. 21ft, marched to Eaftman's in Rupert, and 
thro' Paulcc, and to Merriman's in Wells. 22d, we marched from Wells to 
Poultney and CalUeton 14. miles. 23d, marched from Caftleton to Hubbardfton 
9 miles. 24th, marched from chence to Sudbury to Mr. Morfe's 9 miles, then 
to Mr. Earl's in Shoreham 12 miles to Shoreham Lake. 25th, marched thence 
acrofs the Lake to Ticonderoga. 29th, marched from thence to a point of land 5 
miles, and there encamped. 30th, marched to Crown Point 10 miles. 

April 14th, failed from Crown Point and lodged at Bafon harbor. 15th, 
failed and lodged at Cumberland head. 16th, failed to Saint Johns and lodged 
there, the whole is 1 20 miles, and I ftayed there. 

April 17th, Major Butterfield, Capt. Eafterbrooks and. Capt. Wilkins came 
to St. Johns. April 1 8th, Capt. Shaw arrived at St. Johns from the Point. 

April 19th, Colonel Porter, Capt. Lyman and Capt. Shepard came to St. 

April 2 lit, I failed from St. Johns and joined the regimental Shamblee. 
22d, failed for Quebec. 23d, failed 9 miles down the River Lapare to the 
mouth. 24th, we failed 19 leagues down the St. Lawrence, and at Three 
Rivers I left Lieut. Pool and 25 men. 25th, we failed to P— — 16 leagues, 
and lay there one day. 27th, we failed and landed at Salary ? and marched 
from thence 4 miles to Head quarters at Quebeck. 

May 2d, General Thomas came to Quebeck, and Friday the 3d Capt. Ba- 
con, Capt. Lyman, Capt. Shepard and myfelf went from Ouebeck to Point a 
trumblc and arrived there the 41b. The 5th, got into quarters ; the 6th, our 
men retreated from Qucbcck. It was from the 7th to the 13th before I ar- 
rived at Sorcll, being all fick with the fmall pox, and I went up the river Sor- 
ell 6 miles to a place called Santtane ? and there abode with my men from the 
13th to the 23d ; and the 23d I had orders to go up to Shamblee, where we 
arrived the 25th at night, and remained there to the 5th day of June. June 
5th, the colonel had orders to fail from Shamblee to Sorell, with Capt. Chapin, 
Capt. Bacon, Capt. Lyman, Capt. Shepard and myfelf. 

June the 2d, which is Sunday, General Thomas died, and was buried in the 

June 6th, we arrived at Sorell. The 8th I went on the main guard, and the 
(hipping at the Three Rivers began to fire early in the morning at our men who 

War of the Revolution. 327 

were ordered to take pofleffion of Three Rivers, and the enemy by land at- 
tacked them in the front, and our men fought on a retreat. Our force engaged 
confiited of 2000 ; the enemy of 5 or 6000. We were in the utmofl concern 
left ours had fallen into the hands of the enemy ; but Monday the 10th, we 
had refrefhing news that our men were returning to the camp. And the fame 
day at night Colonel Maxfield came into the camp with a large party of the 
men, and 'tis fuppofed that there was not more than 20 men miffing. General 
Thompfon is taken. June 14th, the whole army decamped from Sorell to go 
to Shamblee. Thofe of us that were in the bateaux failed in the night ; and 
when we had got within a league and a half of Shamblee we heard that the fort 
was befet by the enemy. But it proved a miftake ; and when we got there we 
went to drawing the ftores over the Rapids. The 16th 17th we did the fame. 
The 17th, we left Shamblee in flames and marched to St. Johns and camped 
there ; and the 18th we failed to Ifle-au-noix, and left St. Johns in flames. 
On the 21ft one of our boats went down towards St. Johns to a French houfe 
to drink beer, and the enemy came on them and killed one captain and one en- 
fign and two privates, and took feven prifoners. The 26th which is Wednes- 
day, we failed from Ifle-au-noix to the Iflc of Moc. which is 21 miles, and there 
lay, the whole army being collected in order to go to Crown Point. Friday 
which is the 28th, we failed for Crown Point, and lay at Cumberland head*; 
and the 29th we failed to Schiler's Ifland, and lay there. Sunday the 30th we 
failed to Gillolan's Creek. July lit, we failed ro Crown Point and there en- 
camped. July 5th, Serg' Francis Mun, John Ranfom and Charles Carter 
difcharged. July 9th, Timothy Force was difcharged. July 16th, the news 
arrived at head-quarters that the Congrefs had declared Independence. Day of 
rejoicing that. The colonel invited all his officers to his tent, and gave them a 
treat at the hearing of the news. 

July the 17th, our regiment failed to Ticonderoga ; and the i8ih, I went 
back to the Point under command with 60 men. July 29th, Jofiah Gaylord 
died. Aug. 16th, Samuel Goodale died. 

Ticonderoga Aug. 20th, George Robbins and Jona. Robbins returned to 
their duty from their defertion. Aug. 30th, Simon Leonard died. Sept. 10th, 
Stephen Rolph received a furlough for 15 days. Sept. 16th, Afa Barton was 
difcharged. Sept. 18th, Jcduthan Morfe died. Sept. 20th, Silas Town was 

The rest of the story of this campaign is told in the following pe- 
tition, dated May 27, 1778 : 

" Whereas y r petitioner marched with a company under his command, in 
Col. Porter's regiment, March 6th, 1776, and after a very long and tedious 
march arrived at Ouebeck about the laft of Apr:! ; and in a fliort time after the 
army was obliged to retreat from Ouebeck. In the retreat y r petitioner as well 
as the reft of the army paflcd through a ferics of unparalleled dangers., Iiardfliips 
and diftrefs, and arrived at Ticonderoga about the 17th of July, where with his 
company continued until November 18 : when he with thofe of his company 

328- History of Northfield. 

who Survived and were able, marched for Albany ; and from thence, to New 
JerSey, and joined Gen. Washington's army the beginning of December, where 
they continued till the laft of the month, when the time for which they were 
engaged expired. But at the requeSt of the inhabitants they were deSired by 
the General to flay 1 5 days longer ; and they in companion to the people 
confented to remain that term of time ; at the expiration of which they were 
discharged. And your petitioner on his return homeward near PeekSkill, 
met with an unhappy fall upon the ice whereby one of his hips was greatly 
hurt, and the bone diflocated, which confined him there fome time, and occa- 
sioned very extreme pain, and much colt to gee home ; and Since his re- 
turn he has been at considerable charge in applying to Surgeons for relief of his 
lameneSs by reason of faid fall ; but yet remains very much of a cripple, and 
fears he ever Shall. 

Therefore y r petitioner moft humbly prays that y r Honors would conSider 
his circumftances, and gracioufly grant unco him what you in your wifdom Shall 
judge reafonable and equitable for the damage he has Sustained in ferving his 
country, and in duty bound Shall ever pray 

Y r Honors moSt humble ferv' 

Thomas Alexander." 

Names of the men in Capt. jfs company at Morrijlown Dec. 1776. 

Capt. Thomas Alexander, Charles Carter, 

Lieut. , Levi Prutt, 

Scrgt. John Ball, Joab Belding, 

" Arad Sheldon, Quartus Alexander, 

Sergt. John Hendrick, Reuben Sheldon, 

Corp. Bartholomew Bartlett, Cephas Sheldon, 

" George Wilfon, Lemuel Roberts, 

John Dewey, Jacob Town, 

John Beaman, : William Clark. 

A considerable number of the men that enlisted in Capt. Alexan- 
der's company were from Bernardston and Warwick, and some 
from towns down the river. 

In July, Capt. Samuel Merriman enlisted a company of 5 months 
men, for an expedition to Ticonderoga. The following are the 
Northrleld names : 

Capt. Samuel Merriman, Solomon Holton, Cyrus Stebbins, 

Moles Belding, Augultus Belding, Thomas Elgar, 

Cephas Alexander, Thomas Stebbins, Dennis Stebbins, 

Eldad Alexander, Mofcs Smith, Alpheus Morgan, 

John Farrar, James Hunt, 

War of the Revolution. 329 

In Capt. Agrippa Wells's Co. ofi month's men, muttered Sept. i, are the 
following men from Northfield : Second Lieut. Miles Alexander, Nathan Hol- 
ton, Samuel Frizzell. 

Li'l of z months men deltined for Horfe Neck or White Plains, enlifted at 
Northfield September 1776: Elihu Root, Reuben Field, Nathan Field, Natha- 
niel Billings, Stephen Billings, A fa Stratton, Jonathan Janes, Edward L. Tiffany, 
Elijah Stratton, Noah Morgan, Jona. Loveland, Levi Field, Ithamar Good- 

Names 0/ men enlifted at Northfield in December 1776, to go to Danbury : 

Nathan Prindle, Titus Dickinfon, David Smith, Jofeph Rofe, Mofes Smith, 

Samuel Slarrow, Baldwin, Samuel Temple, Ifhmael Turner, John Stearns, 

■ Sikes, William King, Ezra King, Simeon King. 

Mr. Aaron Whitney was the leading merchant in town, and the 
town's stock of ammunition was kept at his store. Early in July 
some suspicion arose (which proved to be without foundation) that he 
was tinctured with toryism ; and on the 9th, a warrant was issued for 
a town meeting the next day ; at which it was voted " to remove the 
town's stock of ammunition from Mr. Whitney's store to some other 
place." Voted, that the ammunition shall be kept at three several 
places in three different parts of the town, until further orders. Capt. 
King and Gad Corse were appointed a committee to receive money to 
procure arms and ammunition, of all those persons in the town that 
will contribute money to purchase the same. 

Nov. 7. '■'•Resolved. That it is the mind and will of the inhabitants 
of the town of Northfield, and do consent that the present house of 
representatives of this state of Massachusetts Bay in New England, 
together with the Council, if they consent in one body with the house, 
should agree on and enact such a constitution and form of government 
for this State, as the said House and Council shall judge most condu- 
cive to the safety, peace and happiness of the state." 

1777. The committee of correspondence and safety this year, 
were, Dea. Samuel Smith, Dea. Samuel Root, Lieut. Simeon Alex- 
ander, Capt. Samuel Merriman and Lieut. Ebenezer Janes. 

Pest House. — The town voted u to build a house 16x30 feet and 
7 feet stud, to receive persons infected with the small pox ; said house 
to be fixed where the selectmen shall determine." It was located 
near Strobridge hill. 

Northfield sent her full quota of men to the service of the war 
this year. 

Thomas Elgar enlisted in Capt. Leonard's company, Col. Shep- 

330 History of Nortbfield. 

herd's regiment May I, and continued in said company till Dec. 31, 


There were in service at Ticonderoga, Lieut. James Lyman, 

Samuel Field, Thaddeus Brooks, Benjamin Dike, Nathaniel Billings, 

Benoni Dickinson, Moses Burt, Archibald Clandanel, Ebenezer Field. 

Among the 3 months men, were Asahel Stebbins, John Mun, J. 
Church, Joseph Smead. 

Col. Phinehas Wright was in command of a regiment out in the 
campaign which resulted in the surrender of Burgoyne. 

" Moses Dickinson Field was at the battle of Bennington August 
16, and served at Lieut. The company was held in reserve till near 
the close of the action. On the march to the front, a horse and 
wagon, filled and surrounded with British officers, apparently in con- 
sultation, was seen at some distance off in the road. As the horse in 
color answered to the one described the day before as belonging to 
Col. Baum, Lieut. Field, who was noted as an excellent marksman 
at long range, managed by the cover of a large oak tree, to get within 
shooting distance of the officers. His gun would prime itself, and he 
fired several shots in rapid succession, till the barrel became heated, 
when he hurried on to overtake his company. On the return of the 
men to their camp, after the battle, Lieut. Field went to the spot 
where the wagon had stood, and found the ground c as bloody as if 
you had been butchering hogs ; ' and learned that Col. Baum lay in a 
block-house near by, mortally wounded. The wagon, which was 
left at the place, contained a large military chest. He felt confident, 
as he has repeatedly told the writer, that one of his shots inflicted the 
wound of which the British commander died. 

" Moses Field (father of the Lieut, above named) was at work in 
Bennett's meadow, with three of his younger boys, on the day of the 
Bennington fight. They distinctly heard the report of the guns, and 
knew that a battle was in progress. After listening awhile, the father 
remarked : ' I know that there is a battle going on, and I have got a boy 
in it ; I can't work ; I must go home.' The next day came the news 
of the victory, and his son's safety." Letter of Dea. Phinehas Field. 

Mujhr-roll of Capt. Peter Profior's Company, Lieut. Col. IVilliams's 
Regiment, that marched to reinforce the Northern Army, July 10 — 
Aug. 12, 1777. 

Capt. Peter Pro&or, Sergt. Simeon Lyman, John Whitney, 

Lieut. Ebcn r Janes, " Daniel Whitney, Alex r Wheelock, 

" Hophni King, Stephen Gould, Aaron Robbins, 

Sergt. Benj. Mayo, Edw. L Tiffany, Arch. Burnet, 

War of the Revolution. 

33 1 

Benj. Quincy, 
Eliphaz Wright, 
Ebenezer Petty, 
Jona. Moore, 
Jonathan Gale, 
John Mallard, 
John Bucknam, 
Jonathan Davis, 
Jonas Leonard, 
James Kelton, 
James Fitch, 
John Ramfdell, 

Mufter-Rollof Capt. 
IVright's Regiment, 
to the Call of Gen. 

Capt. Samuel Merriman, 
Lieut. Eldad Wright, 
Sergt. Seth Lyman, 
" Oliver Watrifs, 
" George Field, 
Corp Nath 1 Billings, 
" James Lyman, 
" John Holton, 
" Eldad Alexander, 

Levi Field, 
Mofcs Smith, 
Mofes Root, 
Medad Alexander, 
Nathan Wooley, 
Nathan Holton, 
Oliver Smith, 
Seth Mun, 
Simeon Stearns, 
Samuel Todd, 
Stephen Billings, 
Solomon Holton, 

Tim. Wheelock, 
John Field, 
Eben r Atwood, 
Abner Sherman, 
Benj. Towel, 
Charles Woods, 
David Bucknam, 
Oliver Wright, 
Simeon Alexander, 
Samuel How, 
Thomas Kelton. 

Samuel Merriman' s Company in Col. Phinehas 

Expedition to Northern Department in Refponfe 

Gates, Sept. 22 — Oct. 18, 1777. {North field 

Elias Bafcom, 
Alpheus Brooks, 
Ebenezer Petty, 
Thaddeus Brooks, 
Simeon Alexander, 
Jonathan Janes, 
Elijah Taylor, 
John Evens, 
Nathan Fiflc, 

Elifha Holton, 
Afa Stratton, 
Prince Tracey, 1 
Henry Allen, 
Noah Morgan, 
Elijah Stratton, 
Eliphaz Wright. 

This company took part in the battle of Oct. 7, and was present 
at the surrender of Burgoyne, Oct. 17. 

Several of Burgoyne's men came to Northfield, and became per- 
manent residents. Among them were John Woodard, Robert 
Timson and Dennis McCarty. William Dorrel (who eventually set- 
tled in Leyden, Mass., and became the founder of a fanatical sect 
known as Dorrelites) was taxed in Northfield 1784. John Wotton 
embarked with Burgoyne's army, but the ship was taken by one of 
our cruisers ; and on landing he enlisted in the American army, and 
was at the surrender of his old commander. He settled in this town. 

1778. Committee of safety : Dea. Samuel Smith, Dea. Samuel 
Root, Lieut. Simeon Alexander, Hezekiah Stratton, Zebediah Steb- 
bins. The town ohose Hezekiah Stratton, Ebenezer Severance and 
Lemuel Holton a committee "to enquire into the circumstances of 
families whose husbands are gone into the continental service, and 

1 From Lebanon, Conn., a grantee of Hartford, Vt. 

332 History of Nortbfield. 

provide them with meat and grain at the price such articles sold for 
when they severally enlisted in the service." 

April, 1778. On the question of adopting the state constitution 
formed in February last, the town voted ayes 27, noes 16. 

May 7. footed to raise .£120 lawful money as a bounty for 4 
men to serve 8 months in the continental army. 

At the same meeting Lieut. Ebenezer Janes was elected represent- 
ative to the General Court to be holden at Boston, May 27th instant. 

George Robbins, Solomon Alexander, -Matthew Ransom, John 
Dennis and Ebenezer Petty enlisted in the army this year and were 
paid $100 each by the town. 

1779. Committee of correspondence: Lucius Doolittle, Capt. 
Thomas Alexander and Hezekiah Stratton. 

Capt. Thomas Alexander was chosen representative to the Gene- 
ral Court, and also a delegate to the convention for forming a state 

June 23, the town voted that a bounty of £110 be paid to each 
effective man that shall enlist into the continental service for the pre- 
sent war. 

July 12, the town paid a bounty of ,£30 each to 2 men to serve in 

the army six months, <£6o 

Paid rations and travel 100 miles, 40 

Oct. 19. Paid, as above, to 7 men ordered by the General 

Court, 210 

Paid rations, etc. 120 miles, 96 

List of 9 months men for service at West Point : Eldad Wright, 
Jona. Belding, Darius Stebbins, Oliver Garey. 

List of one month men enlisted in July for services at New Lon- 
don : Capt. Elihu Lyman, Moses Root, Joseph Smead, Joshua 
Lyman, Eliphalet Stratton, Sylvanus Watriss, Daniel Ransom, J. 
Church, Phinehas Field, Obadiah Janes, Levi Merriman, Alpheus 

List of men enlisted in October for service at Claverack, Oct. 15 
to Nov. 21, in Col. Israel Chapin's regiment: Capt. Samuel Merri- 
man, Eliphaz Alexander, Thomas Alexander, Francis Burk, Levi 
Field, Asa Field, Elijah Field, Jonas Holton, Ebenezer Petty, John 
Dickinson, Francis Akeley. 

Sept. 6, the town chose Ebenezer Severance a delegate to meet in 
convention with other delegates from the several towns in the county 
of Hampshire, to be holden at Northampton on the second Wednes- 

War of the Revolution. 333 

day of Sept. instant, to agree upon a uniformity of prices of the seve- 
ral articles in the county. 

1780. Noxious Animals. — Beasts of prey had multiplied so 
rapidly, that at the session of' the legislature in March, the following 
petition (signed by members) was presented : " The Petition of the 
subscribers shows : That the inhabitants of the western counties are 
greatly distressed by reason of the destruction of the sheep and neat 
cattle by wolves, catamounts and wild cats, which are numerous in 
some parts of said counties, and are grown very bold and ravenous. 
They therefore pray that a bounty may be offered for their destruction. 
Signed, Thomas Alexander, John Muzzey, Benj. Bonney, Noadiah 
Leonard, Moses Harvey, Jona. Nash, William Paige, Hugh Mc- 

The petitioners were allowed to bring in a bill. 

At the annual town meeting, Seth Lyman, Ebenezer Severance 
and Eliphaz Wright were chosen committee of correspondence. 

Voted, that the .£120 granted by the General Court be paid to Jona. 
Belding, for his son's going into the continental service for 9 months. 

Voted, that the £360 granted by the General Court be paid to the 
3 men that listed for 9 months, to pay them in part for their services. 

May 2. The new state constitution having been received, a town 
meeting was called, and Mr. Samuel Todd, Seth Field Esq., Col. 
Phinehas Wright, Dr. Samuel Mattoon, and Capt. Elisha Hunt were 
appointed a committee to receive and peruse the proposed constitution 
and form of government, and make such observations and objections 
to any article as they may think proper and report the same to the 
town. The committee reported at an adjourned meeting May 22. 
Their objections were as follows, viz. chap. 11, sect. 1. Relative to 
the Qualifications of civil officers : we are of opinion that all civil 
officers in the state should, previous to their entering upon the duties 
of their office declare themselves to be of the Christian Protestant 
Religion. Reason first, It appears to us that the safety of the state 
calls for the exclusion of all Roman Catholics from holding any civil 
office therein : Second, we are of opinion that the adjuration oath 
provided in the constitution is not sufficient to exclude all such. 
Further it is objected that whereas it is implied that there shall be but 
one Register of deeds in each County, we are of opinion that every 
corporate town have a right to and ought to have a Register of deeds. 
Hence to have but one Register in a County is greatly to the disad- 
vantage of the public, and it increases the travel and cost of the sub- 
ject ; neither is it so safe : moreover we view it repugnant to the 

334 History of Northfield. 

seventh article of the Bill of Rights which declares that government is 
instituted for the common good, and not for the profit, honor and 
private interest of any man or family, or class of men." 

After hearing the paper read, the town voted on the different parts 
of the constitution, accepting some and rejecting others : the chapter 
on qualification of voters was accepted, 37 to 7 ; chapter 6, article 3, 
on the property Qualification was accepted, 43 to 1. The vote on 
accepting the proposed constitution as a whole stood 2 ayes, 42 noes. 

June. The town voted to hire the 12 men required as the town's 
quota in the present expedition, and hire money to pay the same. Un- 
der this vote the following men enlisted to serve for 6 months at 
West Point, out July 4 to Dec. 17 : Moses Robbins, Alpheus Brooks, 
Thaddeus Brooks, Daniel Warren, John Watriss, John Moffatt, 
Joseph Myrick, Seth Mun, Gideon Putnam, Alpheus Morgan, Wil- 
liam Vorce (wagoner), Archibald Clandanel. 

Under the call for 3 months men, the following drafted or enlisted 
men went from Northfield in Capt. Seth Pierce's Co. Col. S. Mur- 
ray's regiment, and were in service at Claverack and West Point 
from July 4, to Oct. 12 ; 

Lieut. James Lyman, 

Seth Field, 

aged 18, 

Jonathan Belding, 



Eliphaz Alexander, 

" 16, 

Eldad Wright, " 



Barzillai Woods, 

" 26, 

Tertius Lyman 



Benj. Doolittle, 

- 16, 

Jofhua Lyman, 



James Scotr, 

Eliphalet Stratton, 

• << 


Moses Dickinfon. 

Phinehas Field, 



Phinehas Field was fifer to the company, and went as substitute 
for his brother who was drafted. The company was at West Point 
in September at the time of Arnold's treachery. On their return 
from the campaign, the men halted under the old Meeting Oak, when 
young Field struck up a joyous tune on his pewter fife. This was 
the first intimation the villagers had of their arrival ; and his mother, 
who lived where F. Stockbridge now does, instantly recognized the 
familiar tone of the fife, and cried out " Phinny has got home safe !" 

The town this year voted, That the price of labor on the highways 
be 36 dollars (continental currency) per day for man and the same 
for team of four cattle, from April 1, to Oct. 20 ; and 24 dollars per 
day from Oct. 20 to April 1. Voted, To pay Mr. Hubbard's salary at 
the exchange of 72 for 1. 

Voted, That the rate called the soldier's rate be made and paid in 
grain, as follows : wheat at 5 shillings per bushel, rye at 3 shillings, 
and corn at is. bd. 

War of the Revolution, 335 

Sept. 4, 1780. At the election held this day, under the new state 
constitution, the votes cast were as follows : For governor, John 
Hancock, 27, James Bowdoin, 3 : for lieut. governor, James War- 
ren, 28, James Bowdoin, 1. 

Lieut. Ebenezer Janes was chosen representative to the General 

Oct. 20. Levy of Beef. The town voted, that the assessors lay an 
assessment on the inhabitants of Northfield for 3650 lbs. of beef, in 
accordance with the order of the General Court, and in money ade- 
quate to the value of said beef. Voted, that in lieu of the beef (if 
not paid by each person that is assessed) they be assessed and pay at 
the rate of 120 continental dollars per hundred, or 3 pounds New 
Emission Bills per hundred, and in like proportion for a greater or 
less quantity. Capt. Elisha Hunt, Eben r Field Jr., and Seth Ly- 
man committee to purchase the beef. 

Dec. 26. Voted, that the requisition for 10 men made by the Gene- 
ral Court for the continental service, shall be hired by the town at 
large. Voted, that the committee be authorized to borrow jooo 
Spanish dollars to pay for said men. 

1781. Committee of correspondence, Seth Lyman, Oliver Smith, 
Elisha Alexander. 

Voted, to assess a tax of .£300 lawful money, to be paid one-half 
in silver and one-half in continental Bills at the current exchange, i. e. 
one Spanish dollar for 75 continental dollars. 

July. Voted, to hire 8 men to join the continental army for 3 
months, agreeably to the requisition of the General Court June 30, 
1 78 1. Voted, to borrow the money to pay the recruits. The bounty 
paid each man was =£12. The list is as follows : Tertius Lyman, 
Donaldus Wright, Moses Robbins, Nathaniel Collar, Reuben Whit- 
comb, William Larkin, Abraham Parker, Jona. Parker. 

The surrender of Cornwallis Oct. 19, virtually closed the war. 

Richard Kingsbury, Alexander Best' and William Brown were 
hired by the town to serve in the continental army ; but the date of 
their enlistment is not known. 

1 Alexander Best received in settlement two notes, signed in behalf or' the town by Elisha 
Hunr, James Lyman and Oliver Watrisi. 


Abridged Annals, 1780 — 1830. 

The People impoverished — Equal Richts — Conventions — Valuation — 
School Districts — Cemeteries — Ferries* — Sixth Division of Com- 
mons — Olive Moffatt — Distilleries — Rev. John Hubbard — North- 
field Land set off to Gill — Rev. S. C Allen — Post Office — 
Aqueduct — Sale of Highways — Oil-mill — Rev. Thomas Mason — 
Turnpike — Choristers — Slaves — Carriages — John Barrett — Solo- 
mon Vose — John Nevers — Organ — Methodist Church — Bridge- 
Artillery Co. — War of 1812 — Social Library — Broom Corn — 
Hops — High School— The Second Church — Unitarian Society — 
Baptist Church — Northfield Academy — Third Meeting-House — 
Parish Fund — List op Pastors — Physicians — Lawyers — Representa- 
tives — Senators — Town Officers — Miscellany — Soldiers in the 
War ok 1 86 1-5. Appendix. 

The successful ending of the war brought with it perils which 
tried the patriotism, and courage and wisdom of our people, as sorely 
as the strife of arms. The responsibilities of freedom were new. 
The attempt to build up a ccmmonwealth on the principle of equal 
rights to all, was attended with difficulties of the gravest and most 
complicated character. The maxim of war, that the most direct way 
to gain an end is the best way, is hazardous in times of peace, and 
especially hazardous at a time when all the elements of society are in 
a disturbed and feverish condition. 

The war left every body in debt. States, towns and individuals had 
strained their credit to the utmost, and the resources of all were ex- 
hausted. Taxes were heavy and pressing. The soldiers held town 
notes, and the traders held the soldiers' notes, and all were clamorous 
for settlement. Silver money had nearly disappeared ; and the circu- 
lating medium of continental bills had depreciated, so that in some 
cases the exchange was 240 for I. 

The two necessities which pressed heaviest were, the payment of 
debts; and the adoption of a financial system that should have an as- 
sured basis , and secure equality of values. Real estate was unsalable. 
Personal property could not be exchanged for money ; and hence en- 
forced settlements by law, to which many resorted, did not cancel 
obligations, and brought the courts into contempt. The " Tender 
act " of 1782, which made neat cattle and other articles a legal tender, 

Abridged Annals. 337 

rather increased the evil it was intended to cure. By its expost facto 
operation, and its suspension of existing lawsuits, it complicated all 
questions of debt and credit. 

The slowness of the legislature to act, owing to differences of 
opinion in regard to the true remedy, and the partial failure of the first 
devised measures of relief, wrought a spirit of distrust against the go- 
vernment, and turned the minds of the people to undertake the cor- 
rection of their own grievances. The singular spectacle presented 
itself in most of our towns, of the freemen standing aloof from the 
annual elections. With 120 legal voters, the number of votes cast 
for governor in Northfield in 1780, was 30 ; in 1782, 10 ; in '84, 
20 ; in '85, 22. And it is believed that this town was not an excep- 
tional case. 

At the opening of the Revolution, the people had appointed central 
and local Committees of Safety and Correspondence. This was found 
to be a wise expedient, as a means of concentrating opinions and coun- 
sels, and a medium of efficient action. And conventions of these 
committees were a potent way of securing»concert of plans. They 
became a power in civil and political affairs, whose authority in local 
matters was sometimes greater than that of the legislature, and whose 
action was recognized as binding by the courts. 

The success of the earlier conventions of these committees of 
safety, indicated the most direct way of carrying out schemes for 
opposing, as well as supporting, the constituted authorities. Conven- 
tions " to consult upon the subject of grievances " — a word quick to 
catch the popular sympathy — began to be held in Hampshire county 
as early as 1781. They were made up of delegates chosen by the 
legal voters of the several towns ; and thus had a semi-official char- 
acter. For a time these delegates were men of the highest respecta- 
bility and influence ; and the meetings were moderate in their counsels 
while firm in the determination to secure what they held to be their 
just rights. But prudence and wisdom were not always in the as- 
cendant. These delegate conventions degenerated ; and irregular 
conventions were held, which became the instruments of faction and 
mob rule, and culminated in the Shays rebellion. 

The extracts from the town records which follow, will show the 
part taken by Northfield in the various measures to adjust conflicting 
interests, and remedy evils ; how the people went to work with a will, 
to promote education and material prosperity, and to guard dearly 
purchased civil and political rights. 

1780. The action of the town in reviewing the proposed state • 


History of Northfield. 

constitution, and the almost unanimous vote against its adoption, 
were noticed in the last chapter. A like spirit of independence, and 
determination that the will of the people should be law, was evinced 
in the matter of choosing men to represent the town in the legislature 
and in conventions. In 1782 Aaron Whitney was elected repre- 
sentative to the General Court ; and at the same meeting the town 
chose Seth Field Esq., Col. P. Wright, Hezekiah Stratton, Dr. 
Mattoon, Capt. E. Hunt, Dea. Root, Eben r Severance, Lieut. 
Janes, Capt. Elihu Lyman and Lieut. James Lyman, a committee 
" to give instructions to their representative in those things which 
may be agitated and acted upon by the General Court." The same 
thing was repeated in succeeding years. In 1786, Capt. Elisha Hunt 
was appointed a delegate to a convention at Hatfield ; and a com- 
mittee of five was chosen to give instructions to said delegate. The 
town also took action in selecting candidates for the office of Justice of 
the Peace under the new constitution, as the following vote will show : 
Voted, to recommend Lieut. Ebenezer Janes to the governor as a 
meet person for Justice of the Peace, and chose Lemuel Holton, 
Oliver Smith and Capt. Seth Lyman a committee to petition the 
governor for the aforesaid purpose. Similar town action was - subse- 
quently taken in recommending Medad Alexander and Obadiah 
Dickinson for the same office. 

The number of rateable polls at this date was 170 ; total valua- 
tion, =£3980 191. Voted, that property be assessed at the following 
rates for the current year : 

Home-lots at 



Oxen at 


Great meadow, 

ill qua I. p 

r. a. 



3 12 

>< << 





Three years old, 


<< ■< 





Two years old, 

1 10 















Pine meadow, 



• « 


Colts 3 years old, 


■ < 





i< 2 << 


Moofe plain, 

per acre 




Log plain, 





Pauchaug plain, 



Wheat, per bufhel, 


Cow plain, 






Second Divifion lots 





Third Sc Fourth do 



Flax, per pound, 

8 pence. 

Good Palturc, 



1 78 1 . Schools. — Up to this date, there had been but one organized 
school district in town, and but one school house. After 1765 money 
was regularly appropriated for a school at the Farms j and after '75 
the families living near Bennett's meadow had a small allowance for 

Abridged Annals. 339 

a school among themselves ; but these schools were kept at private 
houses. Dec. 24, '81, the town voted to divide the village into 3 
school districts, the upper district to extend from Mill brook north 
including the farmers ; the middle district to extend from Mill brook 
to Shammah Pomeroy's ; the lower district from Mr. Pomeroy's 
south. A new school house for the upper district was built in the 
highway, on the easterly side, just above the Capt. Colton place ; 
the middle district retained the old house ; the south district built a 
new house on the westerly side of the street in front of the Zechariah 
Field home-lot. At the same time a school district was organized at 
the Farms, and one on the west side of the river. 

Cemeteries. — Mar. 19, 1781, the town voted to lay out a burying- 
place on the west side of the river ; committee on location, Ebenezer 
Severance, Eliphaz Wright, Lemuel Holton. It was laid out as 
follows ; " to begin at a pair of bars that lead through Bennett's 
meadow ditch near the southeast corner of Hunt's Frizzel farm, 
thence southerly on the east side of said ditch about 14 rods to a gulf 
or steep valley ; thence easterly by the said valley about r 1 rods to 
the brow of the meadow hill ; thence northerly about 13 rods to 
the meadow ditch ; thence westerly about 9 rods to the bars first 
mentioned, and which contains by estimation about one acre. 

The cemetery at the centre has a varied history, a part of which 
was given in preceding chapters. In 1769, it was cleared of brush 
and enclosed with Virginia fence, at a cost of £3 10s. lod. In '84 
the town voted to clear the burying-ground and build a post and board 
fence around it, with a gate sufficiently wide for the passing of sleighs. 
In '93, it was voted, " to let out the centre burying-ground to pasture 
sheep on." 

May n, 181 1, the town bought one-fourth of an acre of land of 
Apollos Morgan, for a burial-place, near said Morgan's house at the 
Farms, for $18.50, with liberty of passing to said yard — he to build 
a good board fence around the lot. 

In 1 8 14, at the request of Asa Robbins and others, a piece of land 
was purchased and laid out for a cemetery at the southeast part of the 

Ferries. — March 1781, the town voted to approbate John MofFatt 
to keep the ferry from Northfield to Bernardston. This was the 
ferry between Bennett's meadow and Great meadow, which was es- 
tablished at a very early date, and where the town had maintained a 
canoe for personal conveyance, and a scow for the transport of teams 

340 History of Northfield. 

and farm produce. The scow was moored at this crossing ; and was 
taken to the ferries above for the space of io or 12 days twice a year 
to accomodate the proprietors of the Moose plains and the meadow 
owners above. In '63, the town voted M to build a house at Bennett's 
meadow ferry, 23 X 18 feet, and to build a boat, and to employ 
some person to keep the ferry." After 1781, this was known as 
Moffatt's ferry. In 1795, the town voted, that the treasurer be di- 
rected to execute to Edward L. Tiffany a lease of the ferry-place at 
Bennett's meadow, for the consideration of his ferrying the inhabitants 
of the town at id. per man and horse, and in that proportion for a foot- 
man and teams. In 1799, it was voted that the selectmen take charge 
of Tiffany's ferry, and a committee was appointed to lease it. The 
committee was instructed to try the town's title to said ferry ; and 
at a later date reported ; " 1st, they think the privilege of said ferry to 
be a valuable property, and affords an annual income of about 
§300. 2d, this property is claimed by Capt. Elisha Hunt, and he is 
determined to hazard a legal process rather than relinquish his claim. 
3d, the committee regard the privilege too valuable to be given up 
without a struggle ; and 4th think it expedient to appoint one or more 
agents with full powers, to act for the town. And Timothy Dutton, 
Solomon Vose, Rufus Stratton and John Barrett were accordingly 
appointed." No further record of the case has been found. 

The Moose plain ferry was established in 1686. In 1771 it was 
known as Prindle's ferry, from Nathan Prindle who was then em- 
ployed to keep it, and who continued in charge for many years. 

Little Meadow ferry, crossing at the upper end of Pauchaug, is 
named in 1753. Samuel Belding bought the Little meadow property 
about 1790, and the crossing-place was afterwards known as Belding's 
ferry. At that date there was an old house called the " ferry house" 
standing on the meadow, which would indicate a valuable franchise ; 
but it was probably a private enterprise, and no mention is made of 
town action in maintaining it. Munn's ferry, between Northfield and 
Gill ; and Stacy's ferry, near the mouth of Four mile brook ; and Hol- 
ton's horse-boat ferry near the old bridge, were started at a later date, 
and were individual enterprises. 

The Sixth Division of Commons. — At a meeting of the pro- 
prietors of common and undivided lands in Northfield, Oct. 29, 1781, 
it was voted, that the committee be impowered to sell and convey 
these lands to those men that are now in occupancy of them, or to 
prosecute and dispossess them by due course of law. 

These undivided lands consisted of numerous detached tracts scat- 

Abridged Annals. 3 4 1 

tered over the entire township, and of different values according to 
location. Some lots had been built upon by squatters, and some 
had been improved by adjacent owners. Sept. 30, 1782, the pro- 
prietors voted to apportion to the inhabitants all the common lands 
not embraced in former divisions. Voted to begin to number off the 
lots of the sixth division at the great river south of George Field's 
land, and to go easterly ; then to begin on the east side of the county 
road above the Committee's Farms (so called) and to extend northerly 
up to Beers's plain : Then to begin on the west side of the county 
road near Elijah Stratton's and extend north up the deep gully on 
Second brook : Then south and east of Capt. Alexander's pasture : 
Then above Pauchaug meadow near the fishing place (so called) : 
Then above Moose plain : Then at the county road west of Lemuel 
Holton's : Then at Grass hill. The list of grantees is substantially 
the same as the proprietors of the Fourth Division, on page 282. 

Capt. Elisha Hunt was sent as a delegate to a convention held at 
Hatfield on Wednesday Aug. 7, 1781. 

1783. Lieut. James Lyman was chosen delegate to a convention 
to be holden at Hadley, March 25th instant. 

Olive Moffatt. — The sudden change of the fashion in materials 
for dress goods, which came with the opening of the Revolutionary 
war, made famous this maiden of humble birth. She was of Scotch 
descent ; and the Scotch emigrants that settled at Londonderry, N. 
H., and FCillingly, Ct., were long noted for their skill as weavers. 
Born in 1757, Olive was in '73, when the people made up their 
minds to take care of themselves, just at the age to be stimulated by 
the special, favor shown to accomplished spinners and weavers. She 
was employed by most of the well-to-do families in town ; and in 
1780, and for many years thereafter her loom was considered indis- 
pensable in all fashionable wedding outfits. Her linsey-woolsey cloth 
was inimitable for evenness of texture ; and she had a pattern of linen 
damask which no one else in town could weave, and which, of course, 
all brides coveted. Some of the table linen of her handy work has 
been preserved in the Elihu Stratton and other families till a recent 
period, and perhaps may still be found. And what was of special 
consequence at the earlier date, she understood perfectly how to color 
the fine lamb's wool yarns with madder. All the housewives knew 
how to use logwood and indigo ; but it required peculiar tact to get 
the right shade of red. Olive would never spin over two skeins of 
fine linen thread, even in the longest day, and would charge 6d. and 
yd. per skein. Of fine woolen she would spin four skeins, and 

342 History of Nortbfield. 

charge 3^. per skein or 8i. per " run." 1 When she felt just like it, 
she could weave 3}- yards of yard wide cloth ; but commonly 3 yards 
was a day's work. 

The selectmen were instructed " to hire a school-master that will 
answer the law ;" and Joseph Cummings was employed to teach in 
the middle district through the fall and early part of the winter. 

1784. Number of rateable polls, 145 ; dwelling houses, 71 ; barns, 
71 ; shops and stores, 9 ; saw and grist-mills, 5 ; barrels of cider 
made, 502 ; stock in trade, .£460 ; horses, 143*, Oxen, 156 ; cows, 
225 ; sheep, 372 ; swine, 275. 

It was voted that it is the opinion of this town that there" should 
be a division of the county of Hampshire into two parts ; and Lieut. 
James Lyman was sent as delegate to a convention at Deerfield to 
act on this subject. 

1786. May 4, the town chose Capt. E. Hunt and Lieut. E. Janes 
delegates to a convention to be holden at*Col. Seth Murray's in Hat- 
field on the 2d Wednesday of May instant. 

Aug. 14, Capt. E. Hunt was sent as delegate to a convention at 
Hatfield to be holden the 22d inst. 

1788. Lieut. Ebenezer Janes was elected delegate to the state con- 
vention for ratifying the federal constitution. 

Prices. Fulled cloth, per yard, 6s. ; tow cloth, is. ; men's thick 
shoes, 71. 6d. \ carpenter's wages, \s. 6d. ; board 5;. per week ; shin- 
gles 1 os. per M. 

1791. Distillery. — Samuel Brewer from Boston set up a small 
distillery in the back part of his store this year. And thus was intro- 
duced a branch of business which assumed large proportions a few 
years later. Before 181 1, William Pomsroy built a large distillery 
for making whisky from rye and corn, on the north side of the turn- 
pike, at the corner of the second section of the Great swamp lots : 
Ebenezer Warner put up similar works on the south side of the turn- 
pike ; and Elihu Phelps and Rufus Stratton set up a distillery on the 
river bank at the west end of the Aaron Burt home-lot. These were 
all closed soon after 1830. Barzillai Wheeler had a distillery for 
making cider brandy in 18 14. 

1794. The town voted that the school money be divided to the 
several districts according to the number of scholars in each district. 

November 28. Rev. Mr. Hubbard died. 

'A "run " of yarn consisted of cwenty knots, a knot was composed of forty threads, and 
a thread was seventy-four inches in length, or once round the reel. A skein of yarn con- 
sisted of seven knots. 

Abridged Annals. 343 

The ministry of the second pastor of the church, Rev. John Hub- 
bard, was not marked by any thing of special personal interest, except, 
in a single instance at the breaking out of the war of the Revolution. 
He appears to have given his life and his love to the people of his 
pastoral charge ; and was singularly happy in their reciprocal affection 
and confidence. 

The records furnish no evidence that his original salary of £66 
13J. 4*/., was either cut down or increased. His settlement of £133 
6s. 8^, was paid promptly ; and it seems to have been taken for granted 
that this money, and the home-lot and outlands given him, placed 
him in independent circumstances. Hence his salary, though paid, 
was never paid punctually. For the first ten years it was paid in 
about two years after it fell due ; from '60 to '70 it was paid at the 
end of 12 months after the proper time. In 1775 it was badly in ar- 
rears ; but by a special effort that year it was brought up to within 
one year's payment. In 1790 it had fallen 5 years behind. But to 
the honor of the town be it said, when the currency depreciated, the 
loss was made up by an addition of the required per centum. In 1 780 
he was paid by an allowance of 72 for 1. 

The pastor's annual supply of wood was an important item of town 
concern. The matter was sometimes put in charge of the selectmen, 
sometimes given to a special committee ; and they were instructed to 
inspect the loads to see if they held out in quantity and were of the 
standard quality. 

The unhappy controversy, which was the only break in the har- 
mony of Mr. Hubbard's pastorate grew up in this wise. In the 
public prayers on the Sabbath, like all other ministers, Mr. Hubbard 
had always offered a petition for God's blessing on his majesty the 
King of Great Britain. After the battle of Lexington, when men's 
minds were intensely agitated, and their indignation aroused against 
the royal cause, he continued to repeat the accustomed petition. 

The committee of safety, Dea. Samuel Smith, Ens. Wright, Dea. 
Root, Ens. Alexander and Seth Field, who were the only acknow- 
ledged source of political power in the town, as the committee at 
Boston was the head of power in the Province, held a consultation, 
and determined (Esq. Field only dissenting) to rule out the obnoxious 
petition, and to do it in a summary way. And on the next Sabbath, 
after the congregation was assembled and when the service was about 
to commence, Dea. Smith arose and forbid the pastor offering prayer, 
informing him that he would be allowed only to read the psalms and 
preach the sermon. Mr. Hubbard regarded this as an assault upon 
his rights as pastor of the church, and declined to submit to dictation. 

344 History of Northfield. 

The committee had taken a public stand, and to recede would subject 
them to ridicule. They were supported by the military leaders and 
young men generally, who constituted a majority of the legal voters. 
Mr. Hubbard had the countenance and support of Esq. Field, Dr. 
Mattoon, Ebenezer Stratton, Alexander Norton, Aaron Whitney, 
Shammah Pomeroy, and the majority of the church. The war of 
words, and looks, and actions raged fiercely for a couple of years, 
when Deacons Smith and Root and their friends withdrew from the 
communion of the church, and absented themselves from meeting 
on the Sabbath. 

In '78 Mr. Hubbard proposed to the town that if they would pay 
him up in full his salary now due, he would submit the question of 
dismission to a large mutual council. As this would necessarily in- 
volve an inquiry into the conduct of the Deacons and others in ab- 
senting themselves from the ordinances, the proposition was declined. 
July 7, 1779, the town proposed to Mr. Hubbard, that if he on 
his part would ask a dismission and obtain it by a small council called 
for that purpose, then the town on their part (the church agreeing 
thereto) will, 1, make good his salary agreeable to Mr. Hubbard's 
own proposals : 2, the town will give him the privilege of his pew in 
the meeting-house, during his stay with us : 3, the town will not im- 
pose any office on Mr. H. that shall be disagreeable to his inclina- 
tions, but will endeavor that he shall be honored for the good that he 
hath heretofore done in the town : 4, the town will not rare his poll 
in the town or state tax during his stay amongst us — he also continu- 
ing a peaceable member of society : Or, 5, If Mr. Hubbard chooses 
to submit the whole of the matter of our uneasiness and want of re- 
conciliation to a council of nine churches, viz. the churches in 
Brattleboro,' first in Suffield, Southampton, West Springfield, Belcher, 
Granby, Barre, first in Brookfield, Athol (the church agreeing thereto), 
the town consents and is contented, on condition that if a reconcilia- 
tion cannot be effected then the council shall be authorized to dismiss 
Mr. H. from his pastoral charge. 

This alternative proposition for a mutual council, though so care- 
fully guarded by its condition, and the known sympathies of the 
churches named, was accepted by Mr. Hubbard and his friends — 
they only requiring that the churches at Southampton and West 
Springfield be omitted and two others substituted. 

The council convened Nov. 17, and was in session four days. 
Without waiting for its decision — evidently following somebody's 
wise suggestion — the town's committee drew up the following paper, 
for " an accommodation between y e pastor of y e church in Northfield 

Abridged Annals. 345 

and his adhering brethren, and y e people who are dissatisfied with his 

" It having pleafed the wife and holy God to differ great difficulties and di- 
vifions to arife between the Pallor and the majority of y° people of this town 
which have arifen on account of differences in principle and conduct with re- 
ference to y e controverfy fubfiding between Great Britain and thefe United 
States: — Sincerely delirous to heal thefe unhappy divifions, we propofe that 
our Rev. Pallor Ihould, on his parr, acknowledge that his want of union with 
the body of the people in thefe dates in political fentiment and conduct has 
been the occafion of y e uneafinefs fubfifting among us; that in his public ad- 
miniftrations and private deportment he has done and faid that which afforded 
great difquietude in the minds of his people, and paffed over feveral things which 
would have been a great relief and comfort to their minds, under the grievous 
afflictions and public troubles of our land ; that the Paftor exprefs his fenfe of 
the grief which this would raife in the minds of his flock, and his determination 
to give them every relief in his power : — For this end that he give affurances 
that he will condudl as a quiet and peaceable fubjedl of thefe United States ; 
that he will endeavor according to the duty of his office to submit himfelf and 
yield obedience to y e authoriry and government of thefe independent dates ; 
that he will ufe his endeavors that the prefent conftitution, laws and liberties of 
his country be fecured and perpetuated ; that he publicly pray for the profpe- 
rityofthe American arms againll our Britilh enemies and all others in their 
attempts to overthrow our independence ; that he receive in love and embrace 
with affection thofe who have been in oppofition to him during thefe our un- 
happy controverfles ; that he treat them with that kind intercourfe and famili- 
arity which they experienced in former years ; that he forgive every matter of 
real or fuppofed offence in the conduct and converfation of any of his people ; 
that he inculcate this fame fyftem of friendly conducl upon thofe termed his 
adhering brethren, and perfuade them to a ready compliance with thefe pro- 
pofals, wherein they can be applied to them refpeflively. — Upon which com- 
pliance of theirs, we engage cordially to embrace thefe adhering brethren as 
fellow members of Chriit's vifible body, and delire to excufe every exception- 
able part of their conduct towards us, and that every part of our conduct towards 
them that has been exceptionable may be buried in oblivion ; that the Paftor 
call no grievous imputation upon any part of his flock, exercifing meeknefs and 
gentlenefs towards them all. On our part, we acknowledge that many things 
grievous to our paftor may have taken place among thofe of our number ; and 
efpecially that, although at the time we acted in the integrity of our hearts, yet 
we might heretofore have purfucd different meafures for obtaining reconcilia- 
tion ; and inftead of withdrawing commmunion in the manner we did, might 
have purfued the more orderly and fcriptural way of procedure by the counlel 
and advice of filler churches ; which negled we pretend not to judify. 

Upon thefe conditions, we feel ourfelves heartily willing to receive and ac- 
knowledge y c Rev. Mr. Hubbard as our fincerely refpected and dearly beloved 

346 History of Northfield. 

Paftor ; and will endeavor to walk with him as chriftians, and will fubmit our- 
fclves to his gofpel adminiltrations, and demean ourfelves towards him with all 
that love and eiteem which is due to y e faithful minifters of our Lord's King- 
dom. — Remembering with pleafure our former affection, the comfort and in- 
ftruction heretofore received from his pious labors, we are fincerely anxious 
once more cordially to unite with him in the facred bonds of the Gofpel of 

Signed Samuel Smith, 

Northfield Nov. 20, 1779. 

We accede to the foregoing propofals, 

Phinehas Wright, 
Thomas Alexander, ^ 
Ebenezer Janes, 
Samuel Root, J 


John Hubbard, Pajlor. 

Seth Field, -\ 

Ebenezer Stratton, 

Alexander Norton, \ Committee. 

Samuel Mattoon, | 

Aaron Whitney," J 

Mr. Hubbard was a graduate of Yale College, 1747 ; was ordained 
May 30, 1750, and was consequently in the ministry here 44^ years. 
About 200 were received to church membership on profession, and 
50 by letter, during his pastorate. Rev. Dr. Lyman, in his funeral 
sermon says : 

" He lived in the confciences and affections of his people, and preached to 
them the gofpel of the grace of God with much acceptance. He in general 
poffeffcd their cordial love and efteem. A momentary eftrangement between 
him and this people took place in the time of our public trials. But that 
eftrangement was not natural ; it could not laft ; upon the mediation of their 
common friends it foon vaniftied. He and they returned to the love of their 
efpoufals. For many fucceffive years he has ferved this people with increafing 
affection on their part, and growing comfort on his. I need not tell you how 
firmly he was in fentiment attached to the doctrines of grace, thofe peculiar and 
leading do&rines of the gofpel. As he fincerely believed them, so, with ftrift 
uniformity, with pious contention and pathetic zeal, he preached them to his 
people. He loved his people ; he loved his work ; he loved his Mailer. By 
the uncorruptnefs and purity of his life, he exemplified the do&rines which he 
taught. He labored after that minifterial greatnefs and dignity which confift 
in found dodtiine and holy living ; a greatnefs which is not buried in the grave, 
but goes along with us into heaven." 

1795. Rev. Samuel C. Allen. — Friday Oct. 9, 1795, the town 
at a legal meeting chose Capt. Elisha Hunt moderator. Voted, to 

Abridged Annals. 347 

settle the worthy Mr. Samuel Clesson Allen in the gospel ministry- 
over us, on condition that when two- thirds of the people are desirous 
of his being dismissed, three months' notice shall be given him, and 
he be dismissed by an ecclesiastical council. And that Mr. Allen 
have the same liberty of leaving, by giving a three months' notice. 
Voted, to give Mr. Allen £ 120 lawful money (afterwards declared to 
mean $400 in the currency of the United States) annually during 
his continuance in the ministry amongst us. Col. James Lyman, 
Solomon Vose Esq. and Mr. Oliver Watriss were appointed a com- 
mittee to present these votes to Mr. Allen. 

In his answer of acceptance, dated Oct. 23, Mr. Allen states that 
he shall claim 6 Sabbaths the first year, and 4 Sabbaths in each suc- 
ceeding year, for journeying and the like, if he find it necessary. 

The ordination took place Nov. 25 ; Rev. Allen Pratt of West- 
moreland, N. H., preaching the sermon. The council, professiona.' 
gentlemen, and members of college present were invited to dine at 
the house of Capt. Elisha Hunt ; and the singers to dine at the house 
of Mr. Shammah Pomeroy. 

During his ministry of two years, Mr. Allen was regarded as Cal- 
vinistic in his views of doctrine. He had in a large degree the con- 
fidence of his church and people, and was acceptable as a preacher. 
After his dismission, Jan. 30, 1798, he studied law with John Bar- 
rett Esq., and became a successful practitioner. He was a member 
of the state senate, 18 12 to 18 15, and again in 1831 ; was a member 
of congress 1817— '29 ; councillor 1829, '30 (see Genealogy). 

Part of North field setoff to Gill. In 1793, Ebenezer Field Jr., 
Josiah Parmenter, Benj. Carter, Jona. Childs, Sereno Field, Rodol- 
phus W. Field, Nathan Holton, Elisha Mun, and Abner Severance 
petitioned the General Court to be set off" from Northfield and an- 
nexed to Gill. The next year the town of Northfield voted to grant 
leave for the transfer ; and Feb. 28, 1795, an act was passed in ac- 
cordance with the prayer of the petitioners. The bounds were as 
follows : beginning at the northeast corner of Gill, running northerly 
on the west bank of the river 134 rods to the mouth of Bennett's 
brook, thence W 13 N 30 rods, thence W 9 S 12 rods, thence 
N 15 W 40 rods, thence N 22 W 63 rods, thence N 26 W 57 
rods, thence W 44 N 37 rods, thence W io° 30' S 43 rods, thence S 
14 W 36 rods, thence S 34 W 61 rods, thence W 27 N 50 
rods, thence N 2° E 124 rods to the county road leading to Ber- 
nardston, and on the middle of said highway to the line between 
Northfield and Bernardston, thence S n° E 333 rods to the line of 
Gill, thence E 5 N 278 rods to the point first mentioned. 

348 History of Northfield. 

1796. Harmony Lodge of free and accepted Masons was esta- 
blished this year. 

1797. New School District. — The town voted that the inhabit- 
ants included between Beers's mountain west, Roman T north, and 
the Great swamp east, be set off" into a school district. 

Post Office. — A post-office was established in Northfield this 
year, and Solomon Vose appointed post-master. The mail was 
brought by stage from Worcester once and afterwards twice a week, 
containing usually not more than half a dozen letters, and 3 or 4 
Boston newspapers. Mr. Vose resigned in 1808. His successors 
have been John Nevers, Samuel C. Allen, William Pomeroy, Daniel 
Callender, Charles Osgood, William Hastings, George Hastings, 
Lewis T. Webster. 

Aqueduct. — Mar. 9, 1797. An act to incorporate Solomon Vose 
and others Proprietors of an Aqueduct in Northfield. 

Section I. Be it enacted, etc., that Solomon Vose, Medad Pome- 
roy, Caleb Lyman, Edward Houghton, Eleazar Stratton, Elijah 
Mattoon, Eliphaz Wright, Josiah White, and Samuel Field, all of 
Northfield, are constituted a corporation by the name of The Pro- 
prietors of the Aqueduct in Northfield, for the purpose of conveying 
water by subterranean pipes in the town of Northfield. 

Other sections contain the usual provisions for calling meetings, 
defining rights and liabilities, etc. 

Sale of Superfluous Highways. — At a town meeting April 3, 
1797, lt was voted "to sell the lands in the highways where they are 
unnecessarily wide." Under this vote, 6 rods in width of the south 
side of the North Lane to the meadow, was sold May 15 ; Capt. 
Elisha Hunt purchasing the whole. 

In the north road to Warwick, the whole width, i. e. 10 rods, was 
retained for the distance of ten rods from the town street, for a 
school-house or other town use ; then for a short distance 4 rods in 
width, and beyond this 6 rods in width of the south side was sold to 
Capt. Hunt. 

Six rods in width on the north side of the south road to Warwick was 
divided into five lots, making them 6x12 rods each, and sold in suc- 
cession, beginning at the town street, to Obadiah Dickinson, Solo- 
mon Wells, Selah Norton, James Merriam and Phinehas Field. 

Abridged Annals. 349 

Oil Mill. — Near this date Zechariah Field (son of Paul) built a 
mill for expressing castor and linseed oils, on Miller's brook. He 
planted large fields of castor beans, as also did Isaac Mattoon and 
others ; and the business was of considerable account for a number 
of years. The raising of flax as a common farm crop, at this date, 
furnished the staple for the linseed oil. 

1798. A New Bell. — Mar. 5, the town voted, "to purchase a 
meeting-house bell of between 6 and 700 pounds weight, and to im- 
prove the old bell in part payment for the new." £100 was raised 
to pay the balance. 

Voted, that liberty be granted to Asahel Stebbins's land joining the 
town of Northfleld commonly called the Clesson Farm, containing 
100 acres, to be annexed to the town of Northfleld. 

Voted, that the land commonly called the Rose Farm may be an- 
nexed to the town of Northfleld. No further action is recorded in 
relation to this matter; but it is known that the owner of the Rose 
Farm declined the offer. 

1799. Rev. Thomas Mason. — The town voted to give Mr. 
Thomas Mason a call to settle with us in the gospel ministry. Voted 
to give Mr. Mason an annual salary of $400. Voted to give him a 
settlement of 250 pounds, to be paid one-half in one year from the 
date 0/ his ordination, and one-half at the end of 18 months with in- 
terest. The settlement was granted on the condition that Mr. Mason 
continue in the ministry in Northfleld for the full term of 20 years ; 
and if he leave before the expiration of that period — the fault being 
his own in the opinion of a mutual council — he shall pay back to 
the town such proportion of the 250 pounds as the time falls short 
of 20 years. 

The terms were accepted by Mr. Mason, with the reservation of 
4 Sabbaths annually for travel. John Barrett Esq., Elijah Stratton 
and Solomon Vose Esq. were appointed a committee to unite with 
the church committee in calling a council and making the necessary 
arrangements for the ordination. Voted, that the above committee 
have discretionary power "to make such provisions and arrangements 
as they shall think necessary for the honor and respectability of the 
said day." 

The ordination took place November 6. The following brief 
sketch is furnished by a friend of Mr. M. : 

Thomas Mason was the son of Thomas and Mary (Baxter) Mason ; born at 
Princeton Mass., May 28, 1769; graduated H. C, 1796 ; studied divinity with 


History of Northfield. 

Rev. Thomas Prentiss, D.D. of Medfield, Mass. Being possessed of great phy- 
sical strength and accustomed to use it, he was during the whole of his college 
life the successful champion in the then customary college exercise of wrestling. 
At the date of his settlement, his parish embraced the whole town. In the 
religious controversy which arose in New England during his ministry, he was 
an early and positive advocate of liberal views and ranged himself with the 
Unitarians when that sect organized as an independent denomination. Mr. 
Mason was a man large in stature and of a dignified and commanding presence. 
He possessed great native vigor both of body and mind. His writings and his 
conversation displayed originality of thought, a ready wit, and abounded in ex- 
pressions of marked significance and force." 

' wiSma 

__ i niinnii Mum iiiii uTiTaiTiTTi < i ii i ti i 



In 1820, Mr. Mason was sent as delegate to the convention for 
revising the state constitution ; was several times a member of the 
legislature. He was dismissed Feb. 28, 1830. 

After the settlement of Mr. Mason, and probably at his suggestion, 
the town voted " to purchase a Bible for the meeting-house desk." 
Till this date reading the scriptures was not a part of Sabbath public 
worship — though many pastors had adopted the practice a few years 

Turnpike. — An act for establishing the Fifth Massachusetts 
Turnpike : IVhereas the highway leading from Northfield in the 
county of Hampshire through Warwick and Orange to Athol, and 
from Greenfield through Montague and up Miller's river to Athol 
aforesaid, thence through Gerry, Templeton, Gardner, Westminster, 
and Fitchburg to Leominster is rocky and mountainous ; and the ex- 
pense of straightening, making and repairing the same through the said 
towns so that the same may be conveniently travelled with horses 
and carriages, is much greater than reasonably ought to be required 
of said towns : — 

Abridged Annals. 3 5 1 

. Be it mailed, That Timothy Dutton, Elifha Hunt, John Barrett, Edward 
Houghton, Solomon Vofe, Caleb Mayo, Oliver Chapin, Jofiah Pro&or, Oliver 
Eftcy, Samuel Sweetfer, Hiram Newell, Eben r Jones, Jonas Kendall, Philip 
Sweetfer, Elifha Ball, Caleb Alvord, Jona. Leavitt, Richard E. Newcomb, Solo- 
mon Smead, Jerome Ripley, Ezekiel Bafcom, Daniel Wells, Calvin Munn, 
Thomas W. Dickinfon, their and fucceflbrs be and hereby are con- 
ftitutcd a corporation by the name of the Fifth Mafs. Turnpike Corporation, for 
the purpofe of laying out and making a Turnpike road from Cap t. Elifha Hunt's 
in Northfield aforefaid, through Warwick, Orange, Athol, Gerry, Templeton and 
Gardner to Westminifter meeting- houfe, thence to Jonas Kendall's tavern in 
Leominfter, and alfo from Calvin Munn's tavern in Greenfield thro' Montague 
and up Miller's river thro' unimproved lands fo as to interfeft the road aforefaid 
at Athol: Said road to be four rods wide, and the travelled path to be 18 feet 
wide : to be authorized to ereft 5 turnpike gates for collecting the toll, one near 
where David Mayo keeps a tavern in Warwick, one near the houfe where 
Samuel Sweetfer keeps a tavern in Athol, one near the line between Gardner 
and Westminfter, one near the tavern of Jonas Kendall in- Leominlter, and one 
between Greenfield and Athol. 

Rate of "lolls : For every coach, phceton, chariot or other four-wheeled car- 
riage drawn by 2 horfes, 25 cents ; and an additional fum of 4 &s. for each ad- 
ditional horfe ; for every cart or wagon drawn by 2 oxen or horfes, 12^ £ls. 
and 3 <£ts. additional for every additional ox or horfe ; for every curricle, 16 
cents ; for every chaise, chair or other carriage drawn by one horfe 12^ £is. ; 
for every man and horfe, 5 cents ; for every fled or flcigh drawn by 2 oxen or 
horfes, 9 &s. ; drawn by 1 horfe, 8 els. ; for all horfes, oxen or neat cattle led 
or driven, 1 cent each ; for fheep or fwine, 3 cents for one dozen. Exempts 
from toll, all perfons pafEng to and from public worfhip, or to and from his 
labor on his farm, or to and from any grift mill, or the common bufinefs of 
family concerns or on military duty. 

The first meeting was to be held at the house of Oliver Chapin 
innholder in Orange. 

The remaining sections relate to the right to purchase and hold 
land, and confer the usual powers and specify the usual liabilities. 

The starting point in Northfield was changed from Capt. Hunt's 
corner to Houghton's corner. 

Before the Turnpike was started, the stage route from Boston to 
Northfield, was via Shrewsbury, Worcester, Holden, Barre, Peter- 
sham, Athol, Orange and Warwick. A stage was put upon this 
route as early as 1789. In 1790, the route was extended to Ben- 
nington, Vt., via Brattleboro, Marlboro, etc. 

1800. The opening of the new century found Northfield wholly 
recovered from the wastes of war ; with her agriculture in a state of 
high prosperity, and most of the useful trades and arts well established. 

252 History of Northfield. 

The products of the soil and of the mills and shops were more than 
sufficient to meet the home demand, and the surplus was sent to 
Boston or taken down the river. In public spirit, and amount of 
business transacted, and in the influence of her leading men, and es- 
pecially as a focus of legal talent in the persons and offices of John 
Barrett and Solomon Vose Esqs. (to whom was soon to be added 
John Nevers), this town fairly divided the honors, if it did not head 
the list of the towns in northern Hampshire (now Franklin) county. 

In addition to the families whose names have been familiar in these 
annals from the earliest times, others, such as Dutton, Barber, Hough- 
ton, Moody, Ezekiel Webster, Caleb Lyman, Obadiah Dickinson, 
Barnabas Billings, and Benjamin Callender had become inhabitants, 
and added to the moral power as well as the wealth of the place. 
Some stirring men had died or removed from town, such as Aaron 
Whitney the miller and trader, Elias Bascom who had a fulling-mill 

and saw -mill, Nathan Fisk the tailor, and Miner who had a 

pottery for the manufacture of brown earthern ware on the river bank 
at the upper end of Pauchaug. But there was scarcely any art or 
handicraft promotive of convenience and comfort, which had not its 
representative in Northfield at this date. 

Not to repeat the names of the well known blacksmiths and mill 
owners — there were John Wotton the nail-maker, Elihu Phelps the 
cooper, Isaiah Moody the mason, James Merriam and Ebenezer 
Bancroft cabinet-makers, Asahel Cheney clock-maker, Ebenezer 
White jeweller, William Belcher tailor, Caleb Lyman and son 
hatters, Jabez Parsons, Jabez Whiting and Gad Corse tanners and 
shoemakers, Simeon Boyden and Theodore Holton clothiers, Ezekiel 
Webster forge works, Shammah Pomeroy saddler, Zechariah Field's 
oil mill, Barber's, Callender's and Billings's stores, Doolittle's, Hunt's, 
Dutton's, Houghton's, Field's and Strattoh's taverns. 

Besides Dr. Medad Pomeroy, and Rev. Mr. Mason, and the two 
lawyers Barrett and Vose, some of the men now in civil and mer- 
cantile life had received a collegiate education ; and this fact, while 
it enhanced their consideration, gave them greater means of influence. 
Obadiah Dickinson was a graduate of Yale : S. C. Allen was a gra- 
duate of Dartmouth ; Barnabas Billings was a graduate of Brown 

The ancient mode of travel on horseback was beginning to give 
place to wheeled vehicles ; though at this date, what are now known 
as light pleasure wagons were unheard of. Several Northfield men 
owned chaises and chariots. As early as 1763, Lieut. Jonathan 

Abridged Annals. 


Belding owned a two-wheeled chair. 1 In '77 two other chairs or 
chaises were taxed in town, but by whom they were owned is not 

In 1800, Caleb Lyman, Obadiah Dickinson, and Edw. Houghton 
had chaises. Capt. Samuel Smith who lived over the line in Win- 
chester but attended meeting in Northfield, had a heavy two horse 
carriage ; and Hezekiah Stratton at the Farms had a two-horse hack. 

The three school districts in the centre of the town were this year 
united into one, and all the scholars gathered in the new school house 
by Capt. Hunt's corner. 

Erected 1S00; as it appeared in vacation, 1874 

Number of taxable polls, 236 ; total number of inhabitants, 1047. 

Record of rfnnual Town Meeting Mar. 3, 1800. Col. James Lyman 
moderator ; Ebenezer Janes town clerk ; Barnabas Billings town 
treasurer; Jabez Whiting constable and collector; Col. James Ly- 
man, Capt. Medad Alexander, Walter Field selectmen and assess- 
ors ; Lewis Page, Lieut. Abner Sawyer, Simeon Alexander Jr., 
Levi Merriman, Abner Field, Capt. Elisha Hunt, Lieut. Jona. Janes, 
Nathan Prindle, Aaron Dike surveyors of highways ; Timothy Ly- 
man, Swan Lyman, Zadock Lincoln, Benj. Callender, CaWin Priest, 
Barnabas Billings, Calvin Stratton hogreeves ; Lieut. John Holton, 
Abner Field fence viewers ; Ezekiel Webster sealer of weights and 
measures ; Philip Mattoon sealer of leather ; Barnabas Billings scaler 
of lumber ; Capt. Reuben Smith, Rufus Stratton, Jona. Janes, 

1 In 1753, there were in all Hampshire county only two private carriages, and these were 
two-wheeled chairs, one owned by Muses 1'orter of Hadlcy, the other by Israel William* of' 

354 History of Northfield. 

Thomas Alexander Jr. tythingmen. Chose Rev. Mr. Allen, John 
Barrett Esq., Dea. Dutton, Oba. Dickinson, Elisha Alexander, Ru- 
fus Stratton, Reuben Smith a committee to inspect the schools in the 
town of Northfield. 

Appropriations : §400 for Mr. Mason's salary ; $300 for support 
of schools ; 8300 for support of the poor ; $400 for making and re- 
pairing highways ; $50 for the support of singing. 

Choristers. The town voted to concur with the singers in the choice 
of choristers, viz. Xenophon Janes, Phinehas Field, Elihu Phelps and 
Josiah Fisher. 

The votes for governor this year were, Caleb Strong 66, Elbridge 
Gerry 11, Moses Gill 2. 

Pall. Voted to procure a suitable pall to be used in burying the dead. 

1 80 1. A school district was set off on the west side of the river, 
beginning on the river bank at the south line of Lucius Doolittle's 
south lot in the Fourth Division, and running west to Bernardston 
line, and including all the inhabitants living north of said line. 

The Organ. 

" Winchester, Sept. 4, 1801. 
To the selectmen of Northfield, 
Gentlemen : 
I have procured a new and complete church organ, which I have intended 
for the use of the church and congregation in your town. And now beg leave, 
through you, to make this communication to the inhabitants of Northfield. 
They will do me a great honor in the acceptance of it ; while I shall be highly 
gratified in the opportunity of thus expressing my respect and attachment for my 
native town. I am, gentlemen, with great respect 

Y r humble serv* 

Samuel Smith." 

At a meeting called for the purpose, the town voted to accept with 
gratitude the gift of Mr. Smith. 

Xenophon Janes was appointed organist, and was paid $15 a year 
for his services. Mr. Janes had been a member of the choir since 
1787, and continued to be organist and leader till old age. He was 
fifer to a company in the Shays rebellion ; and played with equal skill 
the spinet, bass-viol and organ. 

1802. A school district, called Capt. Merriman's district, was set 
off — the south line running from the mouth of Pine meadow brook 
easterly to the south-east District, and so around Elijah and Phili'j 
Mattoon's land, including Reuben Smith's land in the Second Division, 
the widow Sibyl Field's land in the First Division, and Walter Field's 
land on Cow Plain. 

Abridged Annals. 355 

1807. Elijah Stratton was allowed to fence across Pine meadow 
road, on condition that he make and keep in good repair a gate. 

1809. New School District. — Seth Lyman Jr., Ora Holton, 
Apollos Beach, John Ball, Chauncey Beach, Adrastus Doolittle, 
Henry Strobridge, Joseph Beach, Barzillai Woods, Elisha Lyman, 
Isaac Gregory, William Childs, Salma Alger were set off from the 
middle or street district and formed into a school district by themselves. 

1810. A Methodist church was organized in Northfleld this year, 
and was regularly supplied with preachers till 1844, when it seceded 
from the Conference. Its leading ministers have been, Rev's. Hum- 
phrey Harris, Salmon Hull, Elias P. Stevens, Otis Wilder, Zadock 
King, George Green, Hezekiah B. Collar, Simon E. Fisk and 
Leonard Frost. Several preachers of note in the denomination have 
originated in Northfleld, as Rev's. J. D. Bridge, H. M. Bridge, P. 
W. Bridge, H. B. Collar and Elijah H. Field. 

Bridge — The town voted, To raise $1000 (or twenty shares) to 
be laid out in building a bridge over Connecticut river in Northfleld. 
Chose Medad Alexander, Henry Field and Samuel Field a committee 
to subscribe for the 20 shares in behalf of the town, and to superin- 
tend the expenditure of the money granted. The bridge was built 
and held by a corporation ; but after standing a few years, was swept 
away by a spring freshet. Elias Holton put in a horse-boat ferry, 
near where the bridge stood, which continued in use till the present 
Rail-road and town bridge was erected. 

181 1. The North field Artillery Company was organized this year, 
and was attached to the First Brigade, Fifteenth Division, Mass. iMilitia. 
Capt. Josiah D. Lyman was chosen captain. The town voted to 
give a piece of land to the commonwealth, upon which to set a Gun- 
house. This was built in the North road to Warwick, on the first rise 
of land east of the school-house. The records of this company were 
returned to the Adjutant-General's office, when the company was 
disbanded, and are not accessible. Among the commanders were, 
Capt. Elijah Mattoon, Capt. King Harris, Capt. Richard Colton, 
Capt. Ira Coy, Capt. Stratton. 

Hearse. — The town voted to raise $50 to purchase a hearse for 
use in carrying the dead to the grave. 

1812. New School District. Oliver Wright, Isaac Rccd, John 
^Wotton, James Holden Jr., John Holden, Wm. Lewis, William 

Wright, Thomas Wotton, Sardis Brigham, Adam Jesup, John 

25^ History of Northfield. 

Woodard, William Field Jr., Uriah Collar, Nathaniel Stratton and 
James Reed were set off into a school district by themselves. 

The proprietors of Pauchaug meadow were allowed the privilege 
of erecting and maintaining a gate at the entrance of said meadow. 

At the opening of the war or 1812, Northfield was the head-quar- 
ters of the Fifteenth Division of the Mass. Militia, under command of 
Major General John Nevers, Barzillai Wheeler aid-de-camp. Gen. 
Nevers came to this town as early as 1805, studied law with John 
Barrett Esq., and opened an office in 1806 or 7.. By a rapid rise in 
his profession and in official favor, he received the appointment of 
sheriff of Franklin county Oct. 22, 181 1, and county attorney Nov. 
22 of the same year. He was commissioned Major General in Jan. 
1 8 1 2. For the next 35 years he wielded great influence in the county 
holding the office of sheriff from 1831 to 1847. 

Between 1800 and 1815, some new branches of business were 
started in this town. Several old firms had disappeared, and some 
young enterprises had made a vigorous growth. Richard Watriss 
had extended his father's business and built a triphammer and scythe 
factory on Miller's brook. Jabez Parsons and Jabez Whiting in 
company had put in a water-power bark mill on the same stream, to 
do what before was done by horse-power. Joel Munsell had es- 
tablished a flourishing manufactory of wagons and wooden plows, the 
only kind then in use. Isaac Gregory and King Harris had tan-works 
a short distance south of where the Dickinson monument stands. 
Calvin Stearns was exercising his trade of carpenter, and Benj. Darl- 
ing that of blacksmith ; while Webster and the Alexanders fully held 
their own. Timothy Swan was an accomplished hatter. But the 
leading firm was Pomeroy, Prior and Bowen, distillers, merchants, 
and boating. 1 They were just well started in a business which, though 
checked bv the restrictive war measures, yet steadily grew, and eventu- 
ally assumed broad proportions, and brought in large gains. 

Thomas Power a young lawyer from Boston, and a man of fine 
taste and public spirit, settled in Northfield in 1 812. He was the 
chief mover and founder of the Social Library, organized Feb. r 8, 1813; 
and in the spring of 18 15, set out most of the elms which now adorn 
the village. Franklin Ripley, so long an ornament to the Franklin 
county Bar, and widely known as a financier, completed his law 
studies in the office of John Barrett and was admitted to practice in 

In 18 (2 or 13, Capt. Elisha Field opened a recruiting office in 
the north part of the house now owned by Timothy Field, where he 

1 Ebenezer Janes followed boacing for a number of years, but the exact date is not known. 

abridged Annals, 


enlisted a considerable number of men for the service. The company 
'was called the Sea Fencibles, and was afterwards stationed at Fort 

Broom corn, as a field crop, was first raised in town about the year 
1 813, by Elihu Stratton. The brush was tied into a bundle and a 
round stick driven in for a handle. The brooms were clumsy affairs ; 
and it was a long time before the women could be induced to ex- 
change the Indian or peeled broom, to which habit had accustomed 
them. In 1855, there were manufactured in town 155,000 brooms, 
of the value of $27,000. 

About this date died Guy, the noted slave of Dea. Timothy Dut- 
ton. He was a native African, tattooed on both cheeks before his 
capture. He was full of nonsense, as well as of wit. The sabbath 
after his funeral, Dea. Dutton and family sent to the desk the usual 
request for prayers ; and the pathetic allusions to the old and faithful 
slave, and the earnestness and beauty of Mr. Mason's petitions for 
the family, were never forgotten by those who heard him. 

1 8 14. Sept. 9, orders were issued by Lieut. Col. William Edwards 
to Capt. Mattoon, " to march the company of Artillery under his 
command, completely armed with field pieces and apparatus to Boston, 
without delay, and report himself to the Adjutant-General." The 
company started from Northfield Sabbath Sept. n, at 4 o'clock in 
the afternoon, going through Warwick, Templeton, Lancaster, 
Waltham, Watertown, Cambridge, and reached South Boston, Sept. 
17. They were in service two months. 

Muster- Roll of 

Capt. Elijah Mattoon Jr., 

Lieut. Charles Bowen, 
" Isaac Gregory, 

Sergt. Calvin Scearns, 
" King Harris, 
'• Sam 1 Alexander, 
" James Hosley, 
" John Whiting, 

Corp. Sharon Field, 
" Elmer Wait, 
" Nathan Simonds, 
" Ansel Graves. 

William Hall, 1 

John Fowler, 

Thomas Rockwood. 

Capt. E. Mattoon 's 

Micajah Hemenway, 
Elias Holton, 
John Holton Jr., 
Henry Wright, 
Erastus Field, 
Chapin Holden, 
William Norton, 
Elijah Shepardson, 
Arunah Shepardson, 
John Packard, 
Aaron Dike Jr., 
Edw. Nettleton, 
Reuben Lee, 
Adam Torrey, 
Miner Butler, 


Artillery Company. 

Cyrus Butler, 
Ellsworth Hunt, 
Alanson Hunt, 
Apollos Morgan, 
Abner E. Whiting, 
Lucius Holton, 
William Hancock, 
Thomas Lyman, 
Jabez F. Bisscll. 

Calvin Stratton, 
Clark Fowler, 
ObadiaTi Morgan, 
Richard Colton. 

1 Substitute fur Jucl Munsell sen. 

2S$ History of Northfield. 

.The following men were drafted from the militia, and were out 
57 days ; most of them in Capt. Enoch Mayo's Co. :— Sergt. Otis 
French, Adolphus Lyman, Ezekiel Woods, Isaac Bridge (his father 
took his place), Thomas Kendall, Charles Reed, Mark Woodard 
(drafted from Montague), Moses Ellis, James Mattoon, Artemas 
Moody, Apollos Beach (substitute for Benj. Darling), Oliver Ken- 
drick (substitute for Horace Holton), George Nettleton, Joseph 
Perry, Jona. Robbins, Eben r Childs, Solomon Miller, Eben r Dodge. 

List of soldiers of the war of 1812, found among the papers of Col. Medad 
Alexander : Eben r Church, Isaac Reed, Aaron Davis, Joseph Bridge, Joseph 
Cook, Simeon [Vlallory, Isaac Kendall, Zadoclc Turner, (an Englishman), Isaac 
Johnson, John Fairman, Samuel Presson, Jacob Miller. 

Pleasure Carriages taxed in 1 8 1 4, owned by 

Elisha Alexander, 
William Belcher, 
Benjamin Callender, 
Tim. B. Dutton, 
Obadiah Dickinson, 
Edw. Houghton, 
Capr. Seth Lyman, 
Joseph Lyman, 

18 1 8. Nathan Prindle and 48 others living on the west side of 
the river petitioned the General Court to be set off into a new town. 

Hop-raising. — The culture of hops as a field crop, was com- 
menced this year on the Moose plains, by Abel How. In 1855, 30 
acres were devoted to this crop, producing on an average 830 lbs. 
per acre. Total value $6,225. 

Select School for Young Ladies. — As early as 1805 or 6, 
Miss Sally Williams opened a school in Union Hall, for the special 
instruction of girls. In 1814, Miss Patience Bancroft of Warwick 
commenced a select school in the same place, which was kept by 
her for about nine months in each of the years 1814, '15 and '16. 
She had a large number of young misses from Northfield and other 
towns, and was eminently successful. Miss Hannah Blake of 
Swansey, N. H., taught a similar school in 1821. Miss Julia 
Draper, afterwards founder and principal of the Ladies seminary 
at Hartford, Conn, was a pupil of Miss Bancroft, and taught her 
first school in district number Three, Northfield, in 18 17. In 
1823, her sister, Miss Emily Draper, had a select school in Union 

value $40 

Gen. John Nevers, 

value $75 

« 30 

Wm. Pomeroy, 

" 100 

" 50 

Dr. Sam 1 Prentice, 

" 50 

" 40 

Levi Sprague, 

" 30 

" 3° 

Capt. Reuben Smith, 

" 40 

" 5° 

Jabez Whiting, 

" 40 

" 5° 

Ezek. Webster. 

« 30 

" +0 

Abridged Annals. 


~ T alI ; and another sister, Miss Eliza Draper taught a similar school 
there a year or two later. These select classes were instrumental in 
educating a number of young ladies who afterwards became prominent 
teachers in our public schools. Miss Lydia Doolittle (now Mrs. 
Lydia Everett) acknowledges with gratitude her obligation to Miss 
Bancroft, for the training and culture which fitted her for eminent 

1825. The Second Congregational Church and Parish. 
The second parish was organized Nov. 15, 1825 •, and a church in 
connection with the same, consisting of 30 members, was organized 
Nov. 17 of that year. The new society held religious services at 
Union Hall for about four years. Feb. 28, 1829, Isaac Prior, Ro- 
dolphus Lyman, Elisha Alexander Jr., Aaron Lyman, Ebenezer 
Slate, Elisha Lyman, John Long, John A. Fisher, Thomas Lyman, 
Elisha Ingram, Phinehas Field Jr., William Field, Lyman Gunn, 
Earl Wilde, Nathan Priest their associates and successors were incor- 
porated into a religious society by the name of The Trinitarian Society 
of Northfield, with the usual privileges and subject to the usual lia- 
bilities of parishes. In the course of the year 1829 a meeting-house 
was built on the northwesterly corner of the Jacob Root home-lot. 
This house was remodeled in 1849, an< ^ ' s st '^ standing. 


The pastors of this church have been : Rev. Eli Moody, born in 
Granby Mass., April 12, 1789 ; studied theology with Rev. Mr. 

360 History of Northfield. 

Perkins of East Amherst ; installed, Nov. 22, 1826 ; dismissed Dec. 
24, 1830. Rev. Bancroft Fowler, born at Pittsfield Mass., Sept. 12, 
1775, grad. Y. C, 1796; installed April 21, 1831 ; dismissed July 
20, 1836. Rev. Horatio J. Lombard, born at Stockbridge Mass., 
May 8, 1792 ; grad. W. C. 1815 ; installed July 20, 1836 ; dismissed 
Oct. 21, 1840. Rev. Nathaniel Richardson, born at Rockport, Dec. 
3, 1806 ; grad. A. C. 1836 ; installed Oct. 21, 1840 ; dismissed Nov. 
20, 1842. Rev. Luther Farnham, born at Concord, N. H. 18 16 ; 
grad. D. C. 1837; And. Theo. Sem. 1841 ; ordained Nov. 20, 
1844 ; dismissed April 9, 1845. Rev. Willard Jones, born at Hills- 
boro, N. H., July 17, 1809 ; grad. D. C. 1835 ; Lane Sem. 1838 ; 
preached as stated supply 1845-50 ; installed Nov. 17, 1859 J died 
Nov. 24, 1 86 1. Rev. Isaac Perry, acting pastor, 1862 till his death 
May 2, 1865. Rev. Thtodore J. Clark, born at Northampton, Feb. 
14, 18 15 ; grad. W. C. 1836 ; And. Theo. Sem. 1841 ; acting pastor 
Dec. 1865 to 1870, installed Aug. 17, 1870 ; still in office. 

The communion service, consisting of two tankards, three plates, 
eight cups, and a baptismal font, now in use by this church, was a 
present from Mrs. Mary Dutton, widow of Dea. Timothy B. Dutton. 

1826. The First Parish, as distinct from the town, was organized, 
through a warrant issued by a justice of the peace, Feb. 24, 1826. 

1827. Unitarian Church. — Fifty-six members of the First 
church withdrew from its communion rhis year, and organized the 
Unitarian society of Northfield. Rev. Samuel Pre sbury, grad. Bruns., 
1822, and Harv. Div. Sch., 1825, was ordained over the new church 
and society Feb. 27, 1828, and dismissed Sept. 21, 1829. 

1829. Baptist Church. — A branch of the Baptist church of 
Leverett and Montague was constituted at Northfield Farms, in 1829. 
This branch was disbanded, and the names returned to the original 
church in 1846. 

Northfield Academy. — June 11, 1829, Samuel C. Allen, Wil- 
liam Pomeroy, Jabez Parsons, Daniel L. Cailender, Timothy Dutton, 
Thomas L. Doak their associates and successors were incorporated 
by the name of the Proprietors of the Northfield Academy of Useful 
Knowledge in the town of Northfield, with authority to hold real and 
personal estate not exceeding in value $50,000. The trustees pur- 
chased the property known as Hunt's hotel, and refitted it, adding 
piazzas etc. The school was opened in October, with Omen S. 
Keith as principal and Charles Osgood assistant. Mr. Keith was a 



















5" x 
s 2 

5! m 

■ O 

3- r 


Abridged Annals. 3 6 1 

graduate of H. C, 1826, and had been preceptor of Framingham 
academy for three years. The school at once took high rank as a 
classical institution ; which it maintained for several years. Mr. 
Keith was succeeded in November 1830, by Cyrus Hosmer of Con- 
cord, Mass., who was not a college graduate, but employed in the 
classical department, William A. Stearns (H. C. 1827), Jona. F. 
Stearns (H. C. 1830), Samuel M. Emery (H. C. 1830), Edgar 
Buckingham (H. C. 1831). Mr. Hosmer died Dec. 17, 1833, and 
was succeeded by William W. Wellington (H. C. 1832), and Joseph 

Mr. Phineas Allen, a graduate of H. C. 1825, bought the academy 
property in the spring of 1835, and conducted the school as a private 
enterprise. Among his assistants were Miss Jane Whiting of Con- 
cord, Mass., Miss Lucinda R. Stone, Miss Mary Ann Willard of 
Cambridge, Mass. The school was discontinued in 1843. 

A select school, for the instruction of lads and misses, has been 
kept in a part of the old academy building for a series of years, taught 
successively by Miss Mary E. Huse, Miss Mary Marshall and Miss 
Sarah J. Russell. 

The beneficent influence of these schools of a higher grade is 
shown in the general intelligence of the people, and in a certain re- 
finement of taste and manners, which at once attracts the notice of a 

1830. After the retirement of Rev. Mr. Presbury in the fall of 
'29, and the dismissal of Rev. Mr. Mason Feb. 28, 1830, the seced- 
ing church re-united with the First church, and a unanimous call was 
given to Rev. George W. Hosmer a graduate of H. C. 1826. He 
was ordained June 10, 1830, and continued in the pastorate till July 

u A Sabbath school was established this year, and proved the means 
of much good. The whole number of scholars was about 175. It 
was suspended during the winter months. Much of its success is 
due to the efficient exertions of Dr. Edward Jarvis the superintendent." 
Church Records. 

Parish Fund. — In 1832, Mr. William Pomeroy proposed to the 
first parish, to take the old meeting house and build a new one, on 
the southeast corner of the Parson Doolittle home-lot, on condition 
that the pews should be sold, and the avails (about $5000) constitute 
a permanent fund, the income of which should be expended for parish 


History of Nortbfield. 

expenses. The new house was dedicated Oct. 16, 1833. It was 
burnt in 187 J, and the present house erected on the same spot. 


In 1835, a christening basin was presented to the church by Mrs. 
E. B. Woodward. 

Ministerial Trust Fund. — In 1836, Mr. William Pomeroy 
made over by deed of gift, a certain parcel of land containing about 
56 rods, together with certain mortgages and cash assets, to a board 
of trustees, for the purposes, and on the conditions, as followeth : viz. 

" The said Trustees shall apply the rents, profit and income of said estates 
towards the maintenance and support of a minister of the Christian religion who 
shall perform his religious duties as minister of that religious society in North- 
field called the First Parish : 

Provided that the religious sentiments of such minister shall be in conformity 
with the general and more important sentiments and doctrines as taught at the 
Theological College in Cambridge in Massachusetts, which conformity is to 
be decided by said Trustees." 

It is also provided, that if the parish shall be and remain destitute 
of a settled pastor for more that eight months at any one time, what- 
ever income accrues from the fund, after the expiration of the said 
eight months and to the time of the settlement of a pastor, shall be 

Abridged Annals. 2&3 

paid over to the Theological College at Cambridge aforesaid : And 
if the parish shall be dissolved, or shall refuse or neglect to support 
a settled minister, as before provided, then the fund shall revert to 
the said Pomeroy his heirs and assigns. 

The board of Trustees appointed by the grantor were, Arad Web- 
ster, Philip Hall, James White, Richard Colton, Josiah Alexander, 
Henry Alexander, Erastus Field, Lyman Gilbert and William G. 
Woodward, who were authorized to fill vacancies in their own num- 
ber, however caused. — By the sale of the real estate, etc., the fund 
is now composed of cash assets of the value of $5000. 

The successors of Rev. Mr. Hosmer are : Rev. Oliver Capen 
Everett, H. C, 1 832, installed March 8, 1837, dismissed Nov. 26, 

1848. Rev. William C. Tenney, H. C, 1838, installed Sept. 9, 

1849, dismissed Oct. 28, 1858. Rev. John Murray, a native of 
Scotland, installed Feb. 2, 1859, dismissed Dec. 25, 1864. Rev. 
Charles Noyes, H. C. 1 856, installed Oct. 1, 1865, dismissed June 
30, 1872. Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland, installed 1872 : still in office. 

Graduates. — The following natives of Northfield have received a 
collegiate education: Seth Field, Y. C. 1732; Thomas Bridgman, 
H. C. 1762; Ebenezer Mattoon, D. C. 1776; Caleb Alexander, 
Y. C. 1777 ; Benjamin Burt, D. C. 1778 ; Frederick Hunt, D. C. 
1 800; Ebenezer Janes, D. C. 1801 ; Elihu Lyman, D. C. 1803 ; 
Isaac B. Barber, D. C. 1805 ; Joseph S. Lyman, D. C. 1805 ; 

John Barrett Jr., B. C. ; Charles Barrett, B. C. ; Joseph 

P. Allen, D. C. 1814; Lucius Field, W. C. 1821 ; Elisha Hunt 

Allen, W. C. 1823 ; Fred. H. Allen, U. Vt. ; Isaiah Moody, 

B. U. ; Samuel Prentice, D. C. 1832 ; Caleb C. Field, A. C. 

1833 ; Thomas P. Field, A. C. 1834 ; Dvvight H. Olmstead, Ham. 

Coll. ; Justin Field, A. C. 1835 ; Frederic Janes; James K. 

Hosmer, H. C. 1855 ; Edgar F. Belding, Y. C. 1872. 

Population of Northfield. 

1830, . . . 1757 

1840, .... 1673 

1850, . . . 1772 

i860, .... 1712 

1870, . . . 1720 

1765, .... 4 J 5 
1790, . . . 868 

1800, .... 1047 
1810, . . . 1218 

1820, .... 1584 

Physicians in Northfield. — Mrs. William Miller, during the 
First and Second Settlements; Rev. Benj. Doolittle, 17 18-1748 ; 
Eben r Field, 1 735—1 759 ; Bildad Andros, 1750-1768 ; Samuel Mat- 
toon, 1 759-1807 ; iMedad Pomeroy (Y. C. 1757) 1762-69, 1788- 
1807 ; Isaac Hurlburt, 1773-1813 ; Marcus Marble, i78o-'8i ; Eldad 
Alexander, 1783-1790; Samuel Prentice, 1 786-1818; Jonathan 

364 History of Nortbfield. 

Sweet, 1800— ; Charles Blake, 1 808-1 841 ; Willard Arms i8i8-'30 ; 
Marshall S. Mead, 1828— still in practice ; Edward Jarvis (H. C. 
1826) i830-'34; Asa S. Ruddock, 1830— ; Philip Hall, 1834, still 
living ; James Henry, 1835 — ; Elijah Stratton, 1840, still in practice. 

Lawyers in Northfield. — John Barrett, H. C. 1780, 1784- 
1816 ; Solomon Vose, H. C. 1787, 1795-1807 ; Samuel C. Allen, 

t8oi . John Nevers, 1805 — till his death; Thomas Power, 

B. U. 1808, 1812-15; Franklin Ripley, D. C. 1809, 1812-16 ; 

H. G. Newcomb, 1823 ; Asa Olmstead (grad. Coll. of N. J. 

1814) i828-'42 ; David Aiken, D. C. 1830, 1832 ; Benj. R. Cur- 
tis, H. C. 1829, i832-'35; William G. Woodward, D. C. 1828, 
1834-39 ; Charles Mattoon, 1 839-1 853 ; Charles Devens, H. C. 
1838, 1841-44; Arthur L. Devens, H. C. 1840, 1843 — . 

State Senators. — Samuel C.Allen, 1812, '13, '14, '31. James 

White, 1841, '42, '45. Hugh W. Greene, 1857, '58. A. C. 

Parsons, 1865. 

Representatives to the General Court. 

John Beaman, 1737. Asahel Sawyer, 1837. 

Ens. Phinehas Wright, 1774, '75. Samuel C. Allen Jr., 1837-1843. 

Lt.Etfenezer Janes, 1778, '80, '88, '93. Asahel Stebbins, 1839. 

Capt. Thomas Alexander, 1779, Harris Stratton, 1840. 

Aaron Whitney, 1782, '83, '84, Charles Osgood, 1844, '45. 

Capt. Elisha Hunt, 1785, '86, '87, '90, Zebulon Allen, 1 846. 

'91, '96, '99, 1800, '03. Simeon A. Field, 1850. 

Obadiah Dickinson, 1792, '94. Earl Wilde, 1852. 

John Barrett Esq., 1798. Dr. Marshall S. Mead, 1853. 

Solomon Vose Esq., 1801, '02. Jonathan Lyman, 1854. 

Col. Medad Alexander, 1804, '05, '06, S. S. Holton, 1855. 

'07, '12, '13, '16, '17, '19, '20. Dr. Elijah Stratton, 1856. 

Ezekiel Webster, 1808/14, '15. William D. Hastings, 1857. 

Gen. John Nevers, 1809, '10, *\l. Wright Stratton, 1859. 
Rev. Thomas Mason, 1824, '25, '26, A. C. Parsons, 1861. 

'30, '32, '33, '34, '35. Samuel W. Dutton, 1863. 

Richard Colton, 1827. Thomas Metcalf, 1866. 

Ezekiel Webster Jr., 1828, '29. Thomas J. Field, 1868. 

Isaac Prior, 1831, '32. Asa A. Holton, 1872. 

George Field, 1833. E. E. Belding, 1873. 

Arad Webster, 1834, '36. Charles H. Greene, 1875. 

Job M. Dickinson, 1835. 

Town Clerks. — William Clarke and Wm. Clarke Jr. during the 
Second Settlement. Dea. Ebenezer Wright, 17.14. Maj. John 
Stoddard, 1715-23. Eleazar Holton, 1723-32. Nehemiah Wright, 
1-733-38. Seth Field, 1739-87. Ebenezer Janes, 1788-1804. 
Ezekiel Weoster, 1805-20. Xenophon Janes, 1821-29. Willard 

Abridged Annals. 


Arms, 1829, '30. Daniel L. Callender, 1831-39. Charles Osgood, 
1840-48, 1850-60. Samuel W. Dutton, 1849-52, 1861 still in office. 

Town Treasurers. — Hezekiah Stratton, 1723. Nathaniel Mat- 
toon, 1724. Dea. Benj. Janes, 1725. Ens. Zechariah Field, 1739- 
41. Lieut. Jona. Belding, 1745-51. Seth Field, 1742-4,1755-7. 
Benoni Wright, 1752-4, 1758-9. Dr. Samuel Mattoon, 1760-93. 
Samuel Brewer, 1794-97, Barnabas Billings, Oct. 1797- 1804. Benj. 
Callender, 1805-9, 10> 2i, 23, 24, 36. Zechariah Field, 1809-12. 
Thomas Alexander, 1812-20, 22. Capt. King Harris, 1825-29. 
James White, 1830-35. S. C. Allen Jr., 1837-39. Jona. H. Blake, 
1840-41. Charles Osgood, 1852-60. Samuel W. Dutton, 1842- 
51, 1861-74. 

List of Selectmen, nearly complete. 

Benoni Moore, 171 8, 20, 23, 24, 30, Seth Field, 1743, 45» 5°» 5 2 » 54> 61, 

32. 63, 69, 71, 74. 

Capt. Benjamin Wright, 1718, 20, Samuel Smith, 1746, 49, 55. 

23, 24, 30, 32. 
Peter Evens, 1 7 18, 29, 41. 
Isaac Warner, 1718. 
Benjamin Janes, 17 19. 
Thomas Holton, 1719. 
Eleazar Mattoon, 17 19, 28, 31. 

Nehemiah Wright, 1746, 56. 
Joshua Lyman, 1747, 49, 51, 53, 59, 

61, 62, 68. 
Eleazar Patterson, 1 747, 48, CI. 
Benoni Wright, 1748, 49. 
William Wright, 1 750. 
Phinehas Wright, 1752, 66, 70, 75. 

Eliezur Wright, 1720, 24, 32, 33. 

Ebenezer Alexander, 1720, 23, 25, Samuel Holton, 1752. 

3 2 » 3 8 » 39. 4 2 » 49. 5°. 5 l » 53- J ohn Holton, 1753, 56. 
Ens. Zechariah Field, 1721, 33, 38, Thomas Alexander, 1754, 7 l i 77 

39,40,41,42. 83. 

Sergt. Joseph Petty, 1721, 23, 34. Moses Field, 1754, 58, 62. 
Hezekiah Stratton, 1721, 28, 40, 41, Simeon Alexander, 1755, 67, 79. 

Dr. Bildad Andros, 1755. 
Stephen Belding, 1756, ;8. 
Ebenezer Janes, 1763, 66, 69, 70, 73, 
76, 79, 81, 83, 84, 85, 88, 90, 91, 


Lucius Doolittlc, 1766, 80. 

Remembrance Wright, 1722, 49. 
Ebenezer Field, 1722. 
Eleazar Holton, 1722. 
Jona. Belding, 1723, 25, 29, 35, 38, 

39. 47, 57. 62, 63. 

Azariah Wright, 1730, 35, 36, 37, Dr. Samuel Mattoon, 1767, 72, 73, 

44, 45, 46, 50. 
Joseph Burt, 1730, 34, 42, 43. 
Samuel Hunt, 1734, 40, 44, 50, 51, 

52, 54, 56, 61. 
Nathaniel Mattoon, 1735,44, 45, 48, 

5». 55- 
Isaac Mattoon, 1736, 52. 

Daniel Wright, 1736, 37, 44. 

John Bcaman, 1737. 

75. 77.8o, 81,82, 84,85, 87, 89, 

94. 95- 
Samuel Root, 1768. 

Eleazar Pomeroy, 1768. 

Dr. Mcdad Pomeroy, 1 769. 

Ebenezer Stratton, 1 769. 

Simeon Lyman, 1770, 79, 81. 

Philip Mattoon, 1771. 

Alexander Norton, 1772. 

3 66 

History of Northfield. 

Hezekiah Stratton, 1772, 77, 80, 87. 
Aaron Whitney, 1773, 80, 86. 
Eldad Wright, 1774, 76. 
Cape Samuel Merriman, 1774. 
Seth Lyman, 1775, 78, 84, 86, 88, 

92, 94, 95, 98, 99- l8o 5» 6 - 
Elisha Hunt, 1776, 82, 85, 87, 92, 

94, 95, 96, 97. 
Jonathan Belding, 1778. 
Eliphaz Wright, 1778. 
Simeon Alexander, 1779, 1808, 9, 

1 1. 
Oliver Smith, 1779. 
Lemuel Holton, 1780. 
James Lyman, 1782, 89, 97, 1800, I, 

2, 3, 4, 
Ebenezer Severance, 1783, 88. 
George Field, 1786, 18 18, 19, 20. 
Elisha Alexander, 1789, 91, 93, 97. 
Medad Alexander, 1790, 96, 1800, 

I, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 
13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20, 23, 24. 

Rufus Stratton, 1790, 96, 98, 99. 

Oliver Watriss, 1791. 

Reuben Smith, 1792. 

John Barrett Esq., 1793. 

Timothy Dutton, 1798, 99. 

Walter Field, 1800, 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 

Samuel Field, 1805, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 

II, 12, 13. 

John Nevers, 1808, 21, 22. 

Abner Sawyer, 1810. 

Jonathan Janes, 1812. 

Timothy B. Dutton, 1813, 14, 15, 

16, 17. 
Hezekiah Mattoon, 18 15, 18, 24. 
Elisha Lyman, 1817, 19, 20, 21, 22, 

28, 29. 
Job M. Dickinson, 1817, 25,26, 27, 

28, 29, 34, 36, 37, 38, 40, 41, 42, 

43, 45, 48. 
William Pomeroy, 1821, 22. 
Isaac Prior, 1823. 
Ehhu Stratton, 1823. 

Isaac Mattoon, 182;, 26, 27. 

Richard Colton, 1825, 26, 27. 

Asahel Sawyer, 1828, 29, 46. 

Thomas Howe, 1830, 32. 

Arad Webster, 1830, 33, 35, 44, 49. 

Timothy Dutton, 1831, 36. 

Henry Alexander, 1831, 32. 

Benjamin Callender, 1832. 

Erastus Field, 1833. 

Josiah Alexander, 1833. 

Thomas Mason, 1834. 

Harris Stratton, 1834, 37, 48. 

John Thurston, 1835. 

Asahel Stebbins, 1835, 36, 38, 39. 

Jona. H. Blake, 1837. 

Jona. Belcher, 1838^-42, 43. 

Earl Wilde, 1839. 

R. G. Cook, 1840, 41. 

Simeon A. Field, 1840, 41, 42, 43, 

44, 46, 50, 51, 52. 
Charles Osgood, 1845, 46. 
Elijah E. Belding, 1845, 46, 47, 49, 

55. 5 6 » 57. 5 8 , 59. 6o » 66 - 
Rufus Caldwell, 1847. 

Joseph Young, 1848, ;8, 59. 

Samuel Merriman, 1849. 

Samuel S. Holton, 1850, 51, 52, 53. 

William Holton, 1850. 

Franklin Barber, 185 1. 

Nelson W. Purple, 1852, 53, 54. 

Samuel W. Dutton, 1853, 54, 55. 

Horace F. Field, 1854, 62. 

Jonathan Lyman, 1855, 56. 

Judah Nash, 1856. 

Samuel Lane, 1857, 61, 62, 63, 64. 

Thomas Metcalf, 1857. 

Elisha Stratton, 1858, 59. 

Elisha Alexander, i860. 

Horace Holton, 1 86 1. 

E. G. Cole, 1861. 

Winsor L. Fay, 1852. 

Lewis T. Webster, 1863, 64, 65. 

Henry W. Montague, 1863, 64, 65, 

70, 71, 72. 

Edwin M. Alexander, 1865. 

Abridged Annals. 367 

A. C. Parsons, 1866. Rufus K. Caldwell, 1869. 

Apollos Morgan, 1866, 67. Clesson Merriman, 1869. 

Henry Johnson, 1867. George Hastings, 1870. 

Jona. L. Preston, 1867. Asa A. Holton, 1870, 71, 72, 73,74. 

James O. Gale, 1868. Roswell Holton, 1870, 71. 

James E. Priest, 1868. Samuel G. Pratt, 1873. 

Charles Pomeroy, 1869. Henry W. Dickinson, 1873. 

The Rebellion of 1861-65. — The following list of soldiers sent 
from Northfield to this war is copied from the minutes in the town 
clerk's office, and is supposed to be correct. 

Three years men in Co. £., zzd Reg, mustered Oct. 5, 1861. Lieut. Fred. 
R. Field (promoted Capt.), Silas W. Bailey, Frank Brown (d. Nov. 29, '61), 
Adolphus O. Carter, Calvin S. Field (k. Gettysburg, July 4, '63), Geo. P. 
Field (wounded), Charles X. Janes, Wm. B. Janes, Wm. H. Johnson (k. 
Gaines's Mills July 27, '62), Daniel D. Kemp, Isaac Mattoon, Lucius B. Rum- 
rill, Wesley L. Smith, Wm. B. Smith, Aaron Stebbins, Lemuel X. Turner, 
Joseph Young. 

Geo. Mason, enlisted 3 years in Co. F. 1st Reg. Cav. must. Sept. 25, 1861. 

Smith W. Copan, " Co. H. 20th " Inf., must. Sept. 4, 1861. 

ChaunceyB. Mattoon, " " M Aug. 8, 1861. 

Nathan H. Simonds, " Co. G. loth " " July 24,1861. 

Marshall A. Potter, " " " " June 21, 1861. 

Geo. W. Field, '* Co. H. " « July 24,1861. 

Charles W. Grout, " Co. D. 21st " " Oct. 11, 1861. 

Frank W. Weeks, " " " " Oct. 11, 1861. 

Three years men in Co. C. zjth Reg. Inf. mustered Oct. 3 — 25, 1861. 
Gardner Collar, Joseph Gates, Charles W. Harvey, James S. Johnson, Henry 
H. Johnson, C. H. Parmenter, Thales H. Page, Elijah Carter, Frank Lovejoy, 
Andrew J. Andrews. 

Richard D. Battles, enl. for three years in Co. G. 30th Reg. Inf. must. Nov. 
20, 1861 ; Ic. July 13, '63. 

Michael Kelliher, enl. three years in Co. E, 28th Reg. Inf. must. Dec. 14, 

Nine months men in Co. F. ; zd Reg. Inf. mustered Oct. 11, 1862. Lieut. 
Marshall S. Stearns, Serge. Hezekiah Hastings, Corp. John H. Robbins, Corp. 
Edward C. Nash, McK. Britt, Elijah W. Chamberlain, Ansel Field, Frank S. 
Field, Geo. G. Felton, Clem. C. Holton, Job M. Leonard, Elijah S. Merriman, 
Wm. E. Merriam, Warren Mattoon, Albin N. Nash, Joseph B. Pierce, 
Charles A. Stimpson, Lucius Stimpson, Asahel Sawyer, Edw. B. Steams, Oscar 
Wood, Charles C. Brewer. 

Geo. W. Field, enl. nine months in Co. F. 53d Reg. Inf. must. Oct. 17, 1862. 

Charles Dewey, enl. three years in 2d Cav. must. Dec. 10, 1862. 

3 68 

History of Northfield. 

Three yean men in Co. H. $6tb Reg. Inf. mustered Aug. zj, 1862. Sergt. 
Theodore Fisher, Corp. John A. Fisher Jr., Loren C. Hayden, George Clark, 
Nathan L. Cutting, Samuel D. Dutton, Geo. A. Fisher, Joseph A. Harris, 
Eugene D. Holton (d. in hospital), Elliot D. Stone, John D. Stone, Frank H. 
Turner, John H. Blake, Henry Murdock. 

Three years men in Co. K. 36th Reg. Inf. mustered Aug. 27, 1862. Samuel 
Cutting Jr., Cha s K. Spaulding, George Webster. 

H. S. Caldwell, enl. three years in Co. G, 3 1st Reg. Inf. must. Nov. 14, 1862. 
Matthew Conghlin, enl. 3 y. in 7th Heavy Art, must. July 21, 1863. 
Henry E. Pierce, enl. 3 y. in Co. I, 3 2d Reg. Inf. must. Sept. 1, 1863, d. 
Nov. 23, '63. 

Geo. P. Field, enl. 3 y. in 27th Reg. Inf., must. Dec. 28, 1863. 
Joshua Maynard, enl. 3 y. in 34th Reg. Inf. must. Jan. 12, 1864. 
Dennis Harrigan, enl. 3 y. in 20th Reg. Inf. must. Mar. 15, 1864. 

Frank Beaver, 


in 3d Cav. 

mustered Mar. 

16, 1864, 

Lewis Luck, 






M. D. Thompson, 


19th Reg. 

Inf. " 


23, 1864. 

John Kenially, 






21, 1864. 

Noah S. Hutchins, 


1 ith 




27, 1864. 

Henry Sarchlield, 


" • 




I, 1864. 

Joseph Smith, 






Thomas Haley, 






Edward Foster, 






John Robertson, 






Richard Fitzgerald, 






24, 1864. 

John Lewis, 






26, 1864. 

George H. Freeman 






29, 1864. 

Francis Labonte, 


Co. I, 




29, 1864. 

Addison Cross, 





John Serrell, 





Freeman White, 





Charles Duchine, 





Lucius H. Mann, 





2, I864. 

Eugene H. Hawes, 





John Miller, 





William GifFord, 





James Hoyt, 





Charles W. Libby, 





I, 1864. 

Henry C. Mitchell, 





John GafFney, 





3, 1864. 

Michael Riley, 





2, 1864. 

William Spencer, 





1, 1864. 

George E. Sockling, 




_ a 

Joseph Quigley, 




Abridged Annals . 369 

C. K. Kimpland, enl. 3 y. in 14th Mass Battery must. Aug. 12, 1864. 

Geo. H. Mason, n 21st Reg. Inf. 

Richard Heath, " 20th " " Mar. 31, 1864. 

Archibald Watson, " Co. K, 58th Inf. " Dec. 9, 1864. 

Charles Baar, " 13th Mass Battery " Dec. 30,1864. 

George Ball, " 4th Cav. - Dec. 27,1864. 

Elnahan Britt, " Co. H. 31st Inf. " Feb. 23,1864. 

D wight Cook, " 37th " " Dec. 7, 1864. 

Patrick Barry, " mustered Aug. 12,1864. 
Lafayette Ross, 

Three years men in the Vet. Reserve Corps, mustered Aug., 1864, Cornelius 
Leary, Joseph F. Shepard, Edwin Jones, Andrew Ray, William E. Northend, 
George A. Sawin, Martin Burke, L. L. Fairchild, John S. Gilbert, James L. 
King, A. W. Brookings. 

Thomas Scanlan, enl. 3 y. in 17th Reg. Inf. Feb. 23, j 865. 
A. O. Stimpson, enl. 1 y. in 2d Cav. Feb. 29, 1865. 

John Whalley, " " Feb. 24, 1865. 

John Timony, " (unknown) Mar. 9, 1865. 

James Caniield, " " Mar. 9, 1865. 

\jo History of North/field. 


[It has been thought that justice to the memory of Rev. Benjamin Doolittle required the 
reprint, in the Annals of Northfield, of the following Narrative. Not more than three 
copies of the tract are known to be in existence. It contains some errors of date and fact, 
which will be found corrected in Chapter viu.] 

A Short NARRATIVE of Mischief done by the French and Indian Enemy, 
on the Western Frontiers of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay ; From 
the Beginning of the French War, proclaimed by the King of France March 
15th 1743, 4 ; and by the King of Great Britain March 29th, 1744, to 
August 2d, 1 748. Drawn up by the Reverend Mr. Doolittle of Northfield 
in the County of Hampshire ; and found among his Manuscripts after his Death. 
And at the Desire of some, is now Published, with some small Additions, to 
render it more perfect. BOSTON : Printed and Sold by S. Knesland, in 
Queenstreet. MDCCL. 

A Short Narrative &c. 

My Purpose is only to relate Facts, as near as I am capable, from the best 
Information I could get : But it is probable there may be some Mistakes from 
Misinformation, arising from the different Apprehension Men have had con- 
cerning Facts, and the different Interests Men have in View : Some having a 
Desire to render their own, and the Actions of their Friends better than they 
were and the Actions of others worse than they ought to appear : Which makes 
it difficult in every Case to obtain an impartial Account. 

On the icth of March 1743, 4, France being instigated by Spain (which 
was in open War with England} declared War with Great Britain ; France 
had in Concert with Spain long laid this Scheme ; hoping hereby to bring down 
England to their Will : And the aspiring young French Monarch hop'd to make 
himself great ; and render his Neighbours low. The King of Great Britain 
soon had the News ; and on the 29th of the same Month declared War against 

What has been done by the Nations in Europe, on. the Seas, or Continents, 
I am not about to relate ; only what was done in these Western Frontiers of the 
Massachusetts Bay. 

* 744- 
The first Tear of the War passed without any Mischief ; and was spent in 
putting ourselves into a Posture of Defence. 

1 745- 
But in the Year 1745, July 5th, the Indian Enemy came to a Place called 
the Great Meadow on Connecticut River about sixteen Miles above Fort-Dum- 
mer ; and took one William Phips as he was hoeing his Corn. The two thac 

Doo little's Narrative. 371 

cook him led him near half a Mile from the Place and scopt: Upon which (as 
we have heard from the Indians) one went down a steep Hill to fetch some- 
thing they had left: on his Return Pbips catch'd hold of their Guns, shot him 
down, and then fell upon the other with his Hoe, which he carried with him ; 
struck him down, and chop'd him very much, and then attempted to run away ; 
But three Indians coming up at that Instant, shot him down, kill'd & scalp'd 
him, Sc mangled his Body very much ; and we have heard, the Indian which 
he wounded with his Hoe, died afterwards of his Wounds. 

July 10. The same, or some other Party of Indians, came to a Place called 
the Upper- Asbuelot, kill'd and scalp'd Deacon Josiab Fisher, as he was driving 
his Cows to the Pasture, about half a Mile from the Garrison. 

October it. A considerable Party of French & Indians came to a Place 
called the Great Meadow ; and made an Attempt on the Fort, but did not 
succeed : But took Mr. Nehemiab How Captive, and carried him to Quebec, 
where he died in Prison above a Year after he was taken. As these Enemies 
went off they kill'd and scalp'd one David Rugg, who with another Man was 
coming down the River in a Canoe ; the other Man made his Escape : and 
they kill'd a Number of Catde. 


April 19. The Enemy came to the uppermost, and most Frontier Place on 
Connecticut River called Number Four ; where they took three Men as they 
were going to Mill about half a Mile distant from the Garrison ; viz. Capt. 
John Spafford, Isaac Parker, and Stephen Farnsworth, They were Prisoners 
some time in Canada ; but are since returned to their Homes. 

April 22. A Man was shot upon between Northfeld and Deerfield ; but 
only shot thro' the Brim of his Hat. 

April 23. About Jifty of the Indian Enemy came to a Place called the Upper- 
Asbuelot early in the Morning, and designed to have rush'd into the Garrison 
just after the People went out : But one at a little Distance from the Garrison 
saw them, and gave Warning to the People. — They pursued those that were 
out of the Garrison, and took one Nathan Blake Captive, who after a long 
Imprisonment is returned to his Friends. The enemy approached near the 
Garrison Gate, shot down one John Bullard, who soon died ; and stab'd one 
Daniel McKenny's Wife in the Back with a long Knife, who soon died. Soon 
after which, the Enemy burnt seven Buildings, not only to devour the Peoples 
Substance, buc to conceal their Dead ; for human Bones were found in the 
Ashes : They kill'd also twenty three Cattle. 

April 26. It is probable some of the same Indians Way-laid the Road be- 
tween Lunenburg and Northfield, and kill'd and scalp'd one Joshua Holton of 
Northjield, who was returning from Boston with a considerable Sum of Money 
for billeting of Soldiers. 

May 2. The Enemy came again to Number Four ; and as a few Men went 
out in the Morning about 50 or 60 Rods from the Fort, the Enemy lay in a 
Barn, fired on them ; and kill'd one Setb Putnam : as the Enemy were scalp- 
ing of him, Major Josiab tfillard, with two Men, ran near to them, fir'd upon 

372 History of Northfield. 

them, and made them immediacely retreat in Confusion ; and we hear by the 
Captives that two of the Enemy were kill'd as they were scalping Putnam. 

May 6. A Party of Indians came to Lower- Asbuelot, and lay about the Gar- 
rison, till they observing Deacon Timothy Brown and Robert Mojfett going out 
of the Garrison towards Upper- dibutlot, Way-laid them, and fir'd upon them. 
Moffett shot on them and broke the chief Indian's Arm : They were both 
taken Captive, and carried to Canada ; but are since returned. 

At the same Time, a Party lay about the Garrison at the Upper- Aibuelot ; 
and as one of them ventur'd to come up to the Fort, and shook the Gate in 
the Night, the Watch shot at the Gate, and shot the Indian thro' the bottom 
of his Belly : who died before he reach'd Crown Point. 

May 9. A considerable Party of Indians came to Fall-Town ; with a Design 
to rush into the Fort in the middle of the Day, when the Men were Abroad : 
but a Soldier a little distant from the Fort discovering them, alarmed the Fort ; 
but he himself could not recover the Fort. There being but three Men in the 
Fort, defended themselves ; the Women assisting in charging the Guns. The 
Enemy approached near the Fort ; but were soon repulsed ; did no Mischief, 
except slightly wounding John Burk, burning one House, and killing ten Cattle. 
The chief Indian had his Arm broke, and one or two more were wounded. 

The Same Day Serjeant John Hawks and John Mibils, being a little distant 
from Fort Massachusetts, riding on a Horse ; two Indians Way-laid them, fir'd 
upon them, and wounded both of them. Mibils made his Escape to the Fort. 
Serjeant Hawks fallirg from the Horse, the Indians ran to scalp him ; but he 
soon recovering, presented his Gun : One Indian jump'd down the Bank, the 
other got behind a Tree : one being a little distant from his Gun, the other 
discharged ; in their Language, as we have since heard, called for Quarter; but 
the not understanding them, continued hallowing to the Fort to come and help 
take them ; but they not hearing, the Indians made their Escape. 

May 10. Some of the Indians, that were the Day before disappointed at 
Fall-Town, turned off to Colerain, about ten Miles North West from Deerfield, 
and Way- laid the Road ; and as one Matthew Clark with his Wife aqd 
Daughter, and three Soldiers, were going from the Garrison to Claris House, 
they fir'd upon them : they kill'd and scalp'd said Clark, and wounded his Wife 
and Daughter: one Soldier play'd the Man, fir'd several Times — defended 
and bro't off the Woman and her Daughter to the Fort, who are recovered of 
their Wounds. 

May 24. There came a large Body of the Enemy to Number Four. Capt. 
Pain with his Troop arriving there while the Enemy lay in Ambush ; about 
twenty Men went out of the Fort to view the Place where Putnam was kill'd : 
the Ambush rose, fir'd upon them, and endeavour'd to run between them and 
the Fort. Capt. Stevens and a Number of Men issued out of the Fort for their 
Relief: a Skirmish began, in which Aaron Lion, Peter Perrin, Joseph Mercy 
of Capt. Pain's Troop ; Samuel Farnswortb, and Elijah Allen, belonging to 
the Fort, were killed : Ouartcr-Mastcr Bacon wounded, and Ensign Qbadiab 
Sartle taken Captive, who is since returned Home : He says, he saw jive of 

Dooiittles Narrative. 373 

the Enemy dead after the Fight : They left thirteen Blankets, five Coats, a Gun 
and other Things. 

June 11. A considerable Number of Indians came to Fort-Massachusetts ; 
fell upon some Men who were at Work some Distance from the Fort ; kill'd, 
and scalp'd Elhba Nims ; wounded Gersbom Hawks : An Ambush arose near 
the Fort, and endeavoured to intercept those who were running to the Fort, 
but were repulsed by a brisk firing from the Fort ; They took Benjamin Tainter 
Captive, who is since returned Home. They kill'd near One Hundred Crea- 
tures belonging to the English and Dutch. A few Days after, one of the In- 
dians was found buried in the Side of the Bank of the River ; and also some 
long Leading-Lines bro't to lead Captives Home in Triumph, were found. 

June 19. A large Body of the Enemy came again to Number Four ; and 
as Capt. Stevens and Capt Brown, with about fifty Men were going into the 
Meadow, perceived by the Dogs with them, that there was an Ambush by the 
Causey ; which put them into a Readiness for an Engagement : One of Capt. 
Stevens's Men saw one of the Enemy, and fired at him : Upon which, the 
Ambush arose, and a sharp Engagement ensued : the Enemy were forced to 
retreat, drawing off their dead Men, as was known by the Signs afterwards dis- 
covered : None of our Men were kill'd on the Spot : Jedediab Wincbel was 
wounded, and died of his Wounds a Fortnight after : David Parker, Jonathan 
Stanhope, and Cornet Heaton, were wounded, but are recovered : a Scalp was 
drop'd by the Indians, supposed to be a French ScaJp : one Gun, eight 
Blankets, and other Things left by the Enemy. 

June 24. A Party of the Enemy came near to a Fort called Bridgman's- 
Fort, about two Miles below Fort-Dummer : fell upon some Men at Work in 
the Meadow, kill'd William Rabbins, and James Barker : and took one Daniel 
How, and John Beaman Captive, who just before he was taken shot an Indian 
and kill'd him ; they are since returned from Captivity : they also wounded 
Michael Gilson, and Patrick Ray, who are recovered of their wounds. 

July 3. A Small Party of the Enemy laid an Ambush at Col. HinsdelPs 
Mill. Col. Willard with about twenty Men went to get some Grinding : when 
they set the Mill a-going, went to search round the Mill to see whether there 
were not an Ambush : and some of the Men happening to go where the Am- 
bush ,was, the Enemy fired upon them : our Men engaged, and pursued them 
a litde Way, and recovered of the Enemy the most of their Packs : one Wright 
was slightly wounded. 

July 28. David Morrison of Colerain, a young Lad, Seeing a Hawk light on 
a Tree a little distance from his Father's Fort, went to shoot him : there hap- 
pened to be about twelve Indians at the Place, who took him Captive: We 
have no certain News what became of him. 

August 3. A large Body of the Enemy came to Number Four. The Dogs 
gave Information that the Enemy were about them : Early in the Morning 
some went out near to a Nursery, and were hVd upon by some Indians who 
lay there. One Phillips was killed : the Enemy run off: our Men charg'd 
their guns and returned to the Fort. Some time after, when they went to fetch 

374 History of Northfield. 

Phillip into the Fort, the Ambush arose, a^iid fired about an Hundred Guns at 
them : the Men fired some time, retreating to the Fort. The Enemy continued 
firing till the next Day : then burnt the Buildings, kill'd the Cattle, and drew off. 
August 6. About thirty Indians came to Winchester ; Way-laid the Road ; 
and as six of our Men were passing they fir'd on them, kill'd and scalp'd one 
Joseph Rawson, and slightly wounded Amasa Wright. 

August 11. A small Party or" Indians came to Northfield: Shot upon Benja- 
min Wright a young Man, as he was riding after Cows to bring them out of the 
Woods ; but his Horse brought him into Town, and he died the following Night. 
August i 5. A Number of Indians shot upon four Men near ShattucPs-Fort, 
but hurt none. A few Days before they hung up a white Flag in Sight of the 

August 17. Some Indians came to a Place called Pequaiog ; kill'd and scalp'd 
one Ezekiel Walllngford, who was alone out at some Distance from the Fort. 

August 20. About seven or eight Hundred of French and Indians came to 
Fort-Massachusetts, and laid Siege about twenty-four Hours. After which, 
they desired to speak with the Officer ; who admitted the Messenger into the 
Fort, who said in the Name of the General, that if they would surrender, they 
should be well used. Our Men consulted together, finding they had not Am- 
munition to stand them many Hours, tho' they had been sparing in firing ; and 
considering the Number of Sick they had in the Fort, tho't it their wisest 
Method to make the best Capitulation they could : accordingly resigned them- 
selves Prisoners of War into the Hands of the French; with the General's 
Promise, that none of them should be given into the Hands of the Indians ; and 
that the Sick, and such as could not travel should be carried. Yet notwithstand- 
ing, He the next Day delivered one Half of our People into the Hands of the 
Indians ; who the next Night kill'd one of our Men, who was sick, rather than 
carry him. The French treated our Men civilly and tenderly : So also did the 
Indians those with them according to their Manner. Thirty-two Men, Women 
and Children Surrendered : many of whom died in Canada. 

The Reason of this Garrison's being lost, was, it's want of Ammunition ; 
which had they been well Supply'd with, they might have defended the Fort, 
and done much greater Spoil on the Enemy than they did : yet we have had 
Intelligence that near fifty of the Enemy were kill'd before the Fort surrendered. 
By whose Neglect the Fort was lost, we know not; but it's probable had the 
Officer been deficient, he would have been disgraced. But want of Ammuni- 
tion was not only the Calamity of that Fort ; but also of the greater Part of our 
Garrisons at that Time. 

There was one Man kill'd in the Fight, and Many died in Prison at Canada : 
Some are returned Home. And the Fort was burnt down ; which it cost the 
Province many Hundreds to rebuild. 

August 22. As about ten of our Men were going from Deerfield to Co/erain, 
two or three Indians lying by the Road, fired on them ; shot down one Constant 
Bliss a Connecticut Soldier: the rest made off as fast as they were able: The 
Indians scalp'd Bliss : and finding some Rum our Men left, the Indians took 

Doolit tie's Narrative. * 37 5 

it, got very merry with it, and (as they told afterwards) the next Morning 
when they awak'd, they were near one of the Garrisons at Colerain : The 
Rum had lik'd to have proved as fatal to them as to our Men. 

August 25. Thirty of this Army came to Deerfield ; not being satisfied with 
what was done at Fort-Massachusetts ; and fell upon some People in the South 
Part of the Meadow : They kill'd and scalp'd Samuel Allen, Eleazar Hawks 
Jun., Oliver Amsden, Simeon Amsden, of Deerfield, and Adonijab Gillet, a Soldier : 
they wounded Eunice Allen ; and took Samuel Allen, a Child of about nine 
years old ; AlUn kill'd one of the Enemy just before he was kill'd ; and it is 
supposed another was kill'd by some other Person. 

565* Had there not been a continual firing in the Town from Day to Day ; 
the People would have took the Alarm, and might have been upon the Enemy 
before ever they couid have got out of the Meadow : Which shews the great 
Necessity of Order and Discipline in Frontier Towns. 

This Summer a Proclamation was issued for inlisting Soldiers for an Expedi- 
tion against Canada; and a great Number freely inlistcd, hoping the Time was 
coming, that God would deliver us out of the Hands of our Enemies in Canada : 
and the Soldiers especially inlisted out of the Garrisons ; some in order to be 
freed from the Province Service, which they were weary of ; others with some 
more generous Views for the public Good : and all Endeavours to put a Check 
to the Fury of the Enemy were stopt : the whole Concern was to get ready for 
the expected Expedition : but how this turned out, we all know : great Numbers 
of Men kept in Pay and Idleness 'till disbanded, to the Ruin of many of them, 
and the great Hurt of the Country. 


March 30. About thirty or forty Indians came to a Fort called Sbattuc&'s- 
Fort between Nortbfield and Col. Hinsdelfs, with a Design to burn it : they 
had made Faggots of dry Spruce & Pitch Pine ; dipt the Ends of them in Brim- 
stone ; brought Fire in a Kettle covered with a Blanket ; and coming silently 
to the Fort in the Night, set it on Fire ; which burnt down that Part of it 
which stood on the South-Side of the Brook : but presently after the Fire began, 
the Wind which was Southerly, turning to the Northward, and the Soldiers get- 
ting into the other Part, by help of the Brook and Wind, prevented the Progress 
of the Fire to the North-Side: and then the Enemy with Surprize observing 
the sudden Turn of the Wind, in our Favour, drew off without doing any 
other Mischief. The English fired at them, 8c broke the Leg of one of them. 

March 31. Capt. Eleazer Melvin with some of his Company who were then 
at Northfield, pursued them to the Great Meadow, shot across the River at 
them, and kill'd one of them : They burnt the Fort which the English had de- 

April 7. An Army of French and Indians came to Number Four, and laid 
Siege to the Garrison. Capt. Stevens being there with about thirty Men, made 
all necessary provision for their Defence; especially by digging Trenches from 
dnucr the Fort about a Yard outwards in several Places, at so near a Distance 

376 History of Nortbfield. 

'0 each other, as by throwing Water we might put out the Fire, in Case the 
Enemy by their four Wheel Carriages loaden with Faggots shou'd set any out- 
ward Part of the Fort on Fire. They continued shooting, and throwing their 
Fire-Arrows for near two Days : and then desired to speak with the Captain, 
who admitted three of them into the Fort ; three of our Men going out to the 
Enemy atthe sameTime : they demanded the Fort ; 8c promis'd our Men to 
carry them safe to Mount-Real, to their Friends, if they would surrender : but 
the Captain assured them he should not resign the Fort. — After which they 
continued firing, and made some Preparation to Storm the Fort, till the next 
Day ; and then they requested the Captain to sell them some Corn ; he told 
them he would grant them five Bushels of Corn for every Hostage they should 
send into the Fort, to be kept till the Enemy should bring and deliver so many 
of our Captives from Canada. But on the third Day they drew off", having 
done no Mischief, except slightly wounding Joseph Ely and John Brown. 
Governour Knowles was so pleased with Capf. Stevens s Conduct, as to make 
him a Present of a very costly Silver-hilted Sword. 

April 14. This or another Army came to Nortbfield, with a Design to have 
taken Part of the Town. The next Day a little after Sun-set, they kill'd and 
scalp'd Nathaniel Dickinson and Asabel Burt, as they were bringing Cows out 
of the Woods ; and then drew off in the Night to Winchester, and the two 
Ashuelots, 8c burnt down those three Towns ; which a litdc before had been 
deserted by the Inhabitants, because the Soldiers were all drawn off without 
any Orders to assist the Inhabitants in removing or carrying off their Substance. 
3Ssf Such little Concern has there been to the poor People in the Frontiers 
at other Times as well as this. 

May 25. As Col. William Williams with a considerable Body of Canada- 
Soldiers were by Order of the Government re-building Fort-Massachusetts ; an 
Army of the Enemy came upon them with a Design to frustrate them. Major 
Williams of Stockbridge had been to Albany for Stores ; and was now on his 
Return with a Number of Waggons near the Fort : He sent a few Men this 
Morning to mend the Way, and give Notice to the Fort that they were a coming : 
when they had got within fifty or sixty Rods of the Fort, they saw the Enemy 
creeping towards the Fort: They fired upon them, which made them discover 
themselves, and fire at our Men who were on the Guard, and at Work; and 
pursue those who were coming from Major Williams: Our Men fired from the 
Fort, and pursued them at some distance from the Fort ; 'till the Enemy seemed 
to aim to get between them and the Fort, and then they retreated. The Enemy 
kill'd one Stockbridge Indian, and wounded three more of our Men, who are 
since recovered. What Mischief was done upon them is uncertain. — But we 
have the following Account by the Way of the Indians — The Enemy disco- 
vered our Men when they went over, and immediately carried News to Canada: 
They sent out an Army of Six Hundred : when they came near to Hoosuck, 
finding Part of our Men were gone to Albany, three Hundred went to Way-lay 
them ; but falling in the Rear supposed, by the Waggons and Signs of Men, 
tHre was a great Army gone from Albany, they therefore sent away a Post to 

Doolittle s Narrative, 377 

them at the Fort, to give them Information : Who coming in the Time of the 
Engagement, was the Cause of their drawing off as they did ; and that they lost 
Ten in the Engagement. 

July 15. About thirty or forty Indians came to Fall-Town, and shot upon 
Eliakim Sheldon as he was hoeing Corn in the Field : he escaped to the Fort, 
but died the Night after. 

August. A Party of Indians went to Asbuelot, and kill'd three Cattle : Our 
Men went out after them, shot at them, and they at our Men, but no Mischief 
was done thera. 

August 26. A Party of the Enemy came to a Village South-West of North- 
ampton: and kill'd and scalp'd Noah Clark as he was thrashing in his Barn. 

October I. Peter Boovee, a Soldier at Hoosuck, or Massachusetts Fort, went 
out a Hunting: A Party of the Enemy discovering him, took him Captive, and 
carried him to Canada : He is since returned. 

October 16. As Major Willard, Captain Alexander, and others, were coming 
from Asbuelot to Nortbfield ; in Winchester they met some Cattle running, as 
tho' pursued ; Captain Alexander being foremost, saw a French Man in the 
Path coming towards him : When he saw our Men, he jumped out of the Path 
behind a Tree. Captain Alexander shot at him, and shot him in the Breast: 
The French Man came up to him, saluted him handsomely ; but he soon grew 
faint, and as our Men supposed, was dying : They being afraid the Indians 
were near, made haste and left him : After our Men were gone, the Indians 
came to him, and he revived ; they carried him some Way ; but fearing the 
English would pursue them, left him ; and a few Days after he came into North- 
field, and resigned himself Prisoner to Captain Alexander. After he was healed 
of his Wound, he was carried to Boston ; where he was kindly entertained. 
And in the Month of February following was conducted back to Canada ; and 
has been since out with the Indians, and done Mischief on our Frontiers. 

October 19. As John Smead, who was taken at Fort Massachusetts, and had 
just returned from Canada, was travelling f r om Nortbfield to Sunderland, was 
Way-laid by a small Party of Indians, and kill'd and scalp'd. 

October 22. About forty of the Enemy came to a Place called Bridgmans- 
Fort, and took one Jonathan Sartle, as he was going from Col. Hinsdefs-Forl 
into the Woods. After which they burnt Capt. Bridgmans-Fort, House and 

November 14. As twelve of our Men were drawing off from Number Four 
a considerable Party of the Enemy Way-laid them within half a Mile of the 
Garrison ; shot upon them, kill'd and scalp'd Nathaniel Goold and Thomas 
Goodale: Oliver Avery was wounded, John Henderson was taken Captive. It 
is observable, that the Night before, this Goodale, when he met with some 
Difficulty to obtain Liberty of his Officer to come off, said " he would come 
notwithstanding all the Powers above & below. 

March 15. The Snow being very deep, and our Men not fearing a Small 
Party of Sculking Indians, about eight of our Men went out about 60 Rods 

378 History of Northfield. 

Distance from Number Four to get Wood : The Enemy about ten in Number 
come within 30 Rods of the Fort ; run to meet our Men, fired upon them, 
killed Charles Stevens, wounded one Andreas, and took Eleazer Priest Captive. 
Our Men not having Snow Shoes could not run out of the Path and make their 
Escape : Nor had the Men in the Garrison Snow Shoes to pursue them, which 
the Enemy were informed of by the French Prisoner the Month before: For 
some of the Garrison told him as he went along, " they would gladly accom- 
pany him Part of the Way, but they had neither Indian Shoes nor Snow Shoes." 
Thus poorly have our Garrisons been stored ; whilst many Hundred Pair of Snow 
Shoes lie on Spoil some where or other, which the Province have paid for. 


March 29. About twelve or fifteen Indians Way-laid the Scout-Path from 
Fort Dummer to Colerain: Lieutenant Sergeant and four more went out in this 
Path to get some Timber for Oars and Paddles : About a Mile from Fort Dum- 
mer they were fired upon ; Moses Cooper was mortally Wounded the first Shot, 
. and made his Escape to the Fort as fast as he could ; he died the next Night : 
Lieutenant Sergeant, bis Son and Joshua Wells engaged the Enemy, fighting on 
a Retreat ; Welh was soon killed ; Sergeant encouraged his Son ; said they 
should have Help from the Fort ; They charged many Times : Se/geant shouted 
as often as the Enemy did, and called upon them to come out and fight boldly. 
These two fought on a Retreat half a Mile ; but Lieutenant Sergeant was killed, 
and his Son taken : They could not have any Help from the Fort ; there being 
but a few Men there, and some of them sick with the Measels, and others not 
having Snow Shoes in Readiness, could not go on the Snow. 

April 16. One Uadcoc&was taken at Paquoig as he was at Work in his Field. 
May 8. About twelve Indians lay in Ambush near an House at South Hamp- 
ton, and killed one Noah Pix/ey. 

May 21. About thirty Indians lay in Ambush near Fort-Massachusetts, to 
take our Men as they should come out towards Deerfield. Serjeant Elisba 
Chapin going out from Deerfield, with a Number of our Men, went silently 
along the Road, and came within a few Rods of them. One of the Enemy 
standing up looking towards the Fort discovered them : Chapin suspecting they 
might be Stockbridge Indians called to them : Upon which the Ambush jump'd 
up and ran : Chapin and one or two more next to him fired at them and killed 
one of them, and got his Scalp : They left a Gun, the most of their Blankets, 
and many other Things. 

May 25. Capt. Melvin with eighteen Men, who went out after the Enemy, 
came to the Lake a little South of Crown-Point ; saw two Canoes about 50 or 
60 Rods from the Shore, going to Crown- Point (these doubtless were the In- 
dians who were drove from Hoosuck the Week before). Capt. Melvin and his 
Company shot 50 or 60 Guns: The Indians made a great Lamentation whilst 
they were shooting at them : Crown Point immediately took the Alarm ; fired 
their Cannon : And that Night our Men perceived the Enemy had got before 
them in their Way Home. Capt. Melvin took a contrary course, whet he 

Doo little's Narrative. 379 

come across their Track, so that he escap'd them, 'till he came on West-River 
on the 31st of May ; they laid an Ambush on the Bank of the River, where 
they were satisfied Capt. Melvin would come between them and the River ; 
Providence so ordered ic that Capt. Melvin stop'd within a few Rods of the 
Muzzles of the Enemies Guns ; they fired on him: Our Men jump'd up the 
Bank, and fired at them ; some of our Men that were in the Rear made up the 
River ; our Men fired some Time at them, and suppose they killed several of 
the Enemy. Six of our Men were killed, viz. Joseph Petty, John Howard, 
John Dod, Daniel Man, Isaac Taylor, & Samuel Severance. Capt. Melvin and 
his Men came in, all but Sue, at diflcrent Times at Fort Dummer. This was 
a Surprizing Stroke, and struck a great Damp into the Spirits of our Men who 
had Thoughts of going into their Country ; when they found how far the In- 
dians would pursue them to get an Advantage upon them. 

June 16. A large Body of the Enemy Way-laid the Road between Col. 
Hinsdelh Fort and Fort Dummer : Thirteen of our Men going from Col. Hins- 
delh to Fort Dummer, were shot upon ; three were killed on the Spot. Some 
time after, the Bones of a Man were found where they lodged the first Night: 
Joseph Richardson, Nathan French, and John Frost were killed on the Spot. 
The Man that was kill'd where they Lodg'd the first Night is supposed to be 
William Bickford ; the rest were taken Captive, except three who made their 
Escape in the Fight. 

June 26. As Capt. Humphrey Hobbs was passing with a Scout of forty Men 
from Number Four to Fort Shirley, they were pursued by One Hundred and 
fifty of the Enemy : and West of Fort Dummer, as our Men stop'd to eat some 
Victuals, their Guards being